OSAKA--A reptile dealer allegedly responsible for letting a snake escape on a Shinkansen train in July said he realized after waking from a nap the snake was on the loose, but did not report it for fear of causing a fuss, police said.
Police on Wednesday sent papers on the Yokohama-based dealer to prosecutors on suspicion of negligent management of the animal, in violation of the Minor Offenses Law.
According to Yodogawa Police Station of the Osaka prefectural police, the 29-year-old man let a Honduran milk snake, measuring about one meter, escape from a plastic case on a Tokaido Shinkansen that was heading from Osaka to Tokyo on the night of July 2.
The man reportedly admitted to the charge, and was quoted by the police as saying, "The snake got out while I was dozing, but I didn't tell anyone as I was afraid of causing a fuss."
The snake is considered a possible danger to humans.
The man purchased nine snakes and two turtles in Osaka and carried them onto the bullet train in a plastic case. He noticed one of the snakes was missing shortly before he got off the train, the police said.