Squirrel discovery diverts Tokyo-Dallas flight to Hawaii

An American Airlines flight from Tokyo made an unscheduled landing in Honolulu after pilots heard something skittering about in the space over the cockpit, which turned out to be a stowaway squirrel.

The Tokyo to Dallas flight made an emergency landing because pilots feared the animal could have chewed through wiring or caused other problems, said John Hotard, a spokesman for the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported Wednesday.

After the plane landed late Friday, the 202 passengers were put up in hotel rooms and later rebooked on other flights, reports AP.

Officers with the state and federal agriculture and wildlife officials boarded the plane, set traps, and captured the squirrel. Fearing it may have been carrying rabies, authorities had the rodent killed, Saneishi said.

It was not known where or how the squirrel boarded the plane, said Janelle Saneishi, spokeswoman for the state Agriculture Department. Hotard said the plane had flown to Tokyo directly from New York before the Denver flight.

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