Big cleaning bill for missing snake on train

February 23, 2011 5:20:19 AM PST
A woman whose 3-foot-long snake slithered away from her in a Boston subway car and hid there for nearly a month has gotten a hefty cleaning bill.

Transit officials want Allston, Mass., resident Melissa Moorhouse to pay $650 to cover the costs of disinfecting and sanitizing the Red Line train to protect passengers from germs such as salmonella that may have been left by a boa constrictor named Penelope.

Moorhouse had traveled with the snake around her neck and lost it between stations Jan. 6. The snake was spotted on the train earlier this month by a commuter.

The Boston Globe reported Tuesday the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority says some subway riders wrote in with health concerns.

Moorhouse says she'll pay more attention the next time she takes the snake out in public.