Hobby Airport excitedly welcomed an arrival from Aruba this past Saturday—its first international flight in 88 years of operation. Southwest Airlines's new international terminal isn't finished yet, and regular commercial flights to Mexico and Central America won't be available until October, but that doesn't mean you're not allowed to get excited. Especially if you're small, furry, and love complimentary nuts.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Central Texas tweeted a rather interesting photo in late February. It depicted a baby squirrel who, according to the Tweet, was found aboard an airplane at George Bush Intercontinental Airport:
#CBP rescued this baby squirrel that arrived aboard an aircraft @iah; He's in capable hands @USFWS_Southwest pic.twitter.com/5w1MM7bkgI— CBP (@CBPCentralTX) February 23, 2015
According to the Daily Mail, the animal "survived a flight from Costa Rica, a journey that normally takes about three to four hours."
Maintenance workers discovered the squirrel after passengers had already departed the aircraft. The crew was busily cleaning and preparing the plane for its next flight when the stowaway made its presence known.
"While there is a cute factor here," CBP Port Director Charles Perez told the newspaper, "we understand that animals must be handled carefully."
After capturing and quarantining the small rodent, CBP workers were able to hand it over to an official from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. FWS and the Houston Zoo coordinated their efforts to acclimate the squirrel and find it a proper home.
As for Southwest's new terminal, it won't be fully operational until October, though as stated, flights to Aruba have already begun. The catch? The itinerary is seasonal, with just one roundtrip a week (on Saturdays), once in each direction. Flights to the small Caribbean island depart Hobby at 10:50 a.m. and arrive at 5 p.m. Return flights leave Aruba at 12:30 p.m. and arrive in Houston at 4:30 p.m.