Live Snake Found by Honolulu Police at a Waipahu Home

Posted on Apr 16, 2024 in Main

April 16, 2024

HONOLULU – Officers from the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) found a live snake in a Waipahu home on Saturday morning, April 13, while on a wellness check involving a deceased male. HPD contacted the Plant Quarantine Branch (PQB) of the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture and inspectors were immediately dispatched to the scene and took custody of the non-venomous ball python, which measured about 3-and-a-half feet long. The sex of the snake has not been determined and is being safeguarded at the PQB.

Snakes are illegal to transport and possess in Hawai‘i and the incident has been forwarded the Department of the Attorney General. Individuals possessing illegal animals may be charged with a class C felony, face fines of up to $200,000, and three years in prison.

“We should all be very concerned that snakes are being transported and kept by residents which are a serious threat to Hawai‘i’s unique environment,” said Sharon Hurd, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “Those who know anyone with snakes or other illegal animals in Hawai‘i should report it and those who possess them should turn them in under amnesty.

“The state’s Amnesty Program was established to help prevent illegal animals from being released into the wild where it could be devastating if populations become established,” Hurd added.

Under the Amnesty Program, illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA office, any municipal zoo or aquarium, or the Hawaiian Humane Society. If illegal animals are turned in prior to the start of an investigation, no criminal charges or fines will be assessed. Animals turned in under amnesty will not be euthanized. Depending on the species, illegal animals may be used for educational purposes, transferred to a municipal zoo or relocated to an appropriate facility on the mainland.

Ball pythons may grow up to six feet in length. They are common in the pet trade and are native to Western and West-Central Africa. Ball pythons are constrictors that coil around its prey and kill by suffocation. A ball python’s diet typically consists of small mammals and birds.

Snakes and large reptiles have no natural predators in Hawai‘i. Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to our endangered native birds. They also compete with native animals for food and habitat. Large snakes may also be a threat to humans and small pets.

Anyone with information about illegal animals should call the statewide toll-free PEST HOTLINE at (808) 643-PEST (7378).


Ball python