News Release – NR09-04 – May 8, 2009

Posted on May 9, 2009 in 2009 News Releases, News-Releases

HONOLULU —  The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture’s Plant Quarantine Branch executed a search warrant on a Sierra Heights Drive home this afternoon and confiscated two snakes.  The operation involved assistance from the State Attorney General’s Office, the Public Safety Department, Honolulu Police Department, U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

A two-foot-long king snake and what has been tentatively identified as a four-foot-long rock python (later identified by a herpatologist at the Bishop Museum as a tree boa) were confiscated from the home.  Both snakes are non-venomous.  HDOA inspectors obtained the search warrant from information received from confidential sources.

Several adults were in the home at the time, but there were no arrests today regarding the illegal animals.  The investigation is still ongoing.

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.  Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).

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