Five Snakes and Three Lizards Turned In Under Amnesty

Posted on Dec 8, 2011 in 2011 News Releases, News-Releases

NR11-20 – December 8, 2011

HONOLULU –  A total of eight illegal animals were turned in yesterday under the State’s Amnesty Program, including three ball python and two boa constrictor snakes, two blue-tongued skinks and one monitor lizard.  According to the Hawaiian Humane Society (HHS), a woman dropped the illegal animals off yesterday afternoon.  (Note: Some of the animals were misidentified by the HHS yesterday).  The animals are being safeguarded at the Plant Quarantine Branch of the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and will likely be shipped out of state at a later date. The animals are of varying sizes, but HDOA staff have not been able to measure each one at this time.

The State’s Amnesty Program allows illegal animals to be turned in and provides immunity from prosecution.  Illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA Office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo in Hilo or any Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed. Animals turned in under amnesty will not be euthanized.  The maximum penalty under State law for possessing and/or transporting illegal animals is a class C felony, $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison. Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).

Snakes and large lizards have no natural predators in Hawai`i and pose a serious threat to Hawai`i’s environment because they compete with native animal populations for food and habitat.  Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to our endangered native birds.  Large snakes may also kill pets and even humans.