For Immediate Release: June 22, 2007
HONOLULU – A live snake was captured on Wednesday, June 13th, at Matson Navigation Company’s container yard at Pier 52 and turned over to inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA). The snake, which measures about three-and-a-half feet, was captured on the ground by a Matson employee. It was identified the following day as a non-venomous gopher snake (Pituophis melanoleucus). It is not known how or when the snake arrived in Hawaii.
Gopher snakes may grow to about nine feet and are widely found all over North America. Their diet consists of rodents, lizards and birds.
Snakes are illegal in Hawaii. Snakes have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s environment. Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to endangered native birds. Large snakes can also be a danger to the public and small pets.
Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378). Individuals who have illegal animals are encouraged to turn them in under the state’s amnesty program, which provides immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA Office, municipal zoo or Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed.
# # #