News Release – NR08-13 – June 3, 2008

Posted on Jun 3, 2008 in 2008 News Releases, News-Releases

HONOLULU – A two-foot-long snake was found this morning in a bathroom of a Kaneohe home.  A resident of the home on Yacht Club St. found the snake in a small bucket that was next to a bathtub at about 7 a.m. and called police, who called Plant Quarantine inspectors from the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA).  The snake was identified as a non-venomous ball python.  It is not known how the snake got into the home.

Ball pythons are common in the pet trade on the mainland; however, snakes are illegal in Hawai`i. Ball pythons are native to Western and West-Central Africa and are related to boas, which are constrictors that subdue prey by coiling around and suffocating it.  Its diet usually consists of small mammals and birds.  Ball pythons may grow up to six-feet long.

Snakes have no natural predators in Hawai`i and pose a serious threat to Hawai`i’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.

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 any Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed.

Persons possessing illegal animals may be charged with a class C felony and subject to fines up to $200,000 and three years in prison.  Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at643-PEST (7378).

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