News Release: August 29, 2003

Posted on Aug 29, 2003 in 2003 News Releases, News-Releases

For Immediate Release: August 29, 2003 NR03-18



HONOLULU – The partial remains of a snake was found smashed in the wheel well of a United Airlines jet last week at the Kahului Airport on Maui. A member of the United Airlines ground crew found the snake last Wednesday after the aircraft arrived from San Francisco and turned in the remains to a Maui Plant Quarantine inspector from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

The headless remains measured 14 inches long and was shipped to the Plant Quarantine Branch in Honolulu. A reptile specialist at the Honolulu Zoo has identified the remains as that of a type of gopher snake (Pituophis sp.). Gopher snakes are found in North America and can grow up to about seven feet. Their diet consists of small rodents, young rabbits, lizards, birds and their eggs. Prey is killed by constriction and suffocation.

Snakes are illegal In Hawaii. Any sighting of a snake or other illegal animal should be reported immediately to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s PEST HOTLINE on Oahu at


F or neighbor islands call toll free:

Maui – 984-2400 ext. 67378

Big Island – 974-4000 ext. 67378

Kauai – 274-3141 ext. 67378

Molokai & Lanai – 1-800-468-4644 ext. 67378


For more information, contact:

Janelle Saneishi
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Phone: (808) 973-9560