News Release – NR09-14 – December 22, 2009

Posted on Dec 22, 2009 in 2009 News Releases, News-Releases

HONOLULU — A snake measuring approximately six feet was found in a Big Island neighborhood on Friday. A Kea`au resident called Hawai`i County Police at about 2:15 p.m. and reported that there was a snake in his garage.  Police and Hawai`i Island Humane Society responded and captured the snake.  Personnel from the Department of Land & Natural Resources were called and transported the snake to the Hilo Office of the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture.  The snake was sent yesterday to the Plant Quarantine Branch in Honolulu where it was identified as a boa constrictor.

Boa constrictors are non-venomous and are native to Central and South America.  They can grow up to 12 feet in length and have a normal diet of small mammals such as mice and rats.  Snakes have no natural predators in Hawai`i 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.

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, Honolulu Zoo or any Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed.  Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).