2 dead snakes turned over to state

Published On: Aug 02 2012 04:00:02 PM HST

Dead garter snake


Two dead snakes have been turned in to the state in two separate incidents this week, according to the Department of Agriculture.

On Tuesday, a Central Oahu farm turned in a dead boa constrictor which measured about six feet in length.  Workers harvesting a field early in the morning came upon the snake and incapacitated the snake.  The carcass was later turned in to state's Plant Quarantine Office.

Wednesday morning, a guest at a Waikiki hotel reportedly found a dead garter snake in a carry-on bag and turned the snake in to the front desk.  The snake, which appeared to be dried and dead for a while, measured about 6-inches-long and was picked up by Plant Quarantine inspectors.  The visitor is from Washington State and arrived in Honolulu on Monday.

Boa constrictors are non-venomous and are native to Central and South America.  They may 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 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.

Garter snakes are native to North and Central America.   They produce a mild neurotoxin, but are not considered a danger to humans.   Their diet consists of lizards, amphibians, insects and aquatic animals.  Depending on the species, they may grow to about 4-and-half-feet-long.

Individuals who have illegal animals are encouraged to turn them in under the State's Amnesty program, which provides immunity from prosecution.  Anyone with knowledge of illegal animals in Hawaii is asked to call the toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).


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