Live Boa Found on Sidewalk in ChinatownNovember 6, 2013, 7:54 AM HST · Updated November 6, 11:19 AM 0 Comments
By Maui Now Staff
A live snake, measuring two-and-a-half feet in length, was found by a pedestrian this morning on a sidewalk in Chinatown on Oʻahu, officials said.
The snake, later identified as a non-venomous rainbow boa constrictor, was spotted at around 7 a.m. on Nuʻuanu Avenue, fronting the Kukui Plaza condominium, according to information released by the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture.
State agricultural officials say snakes and large lizards have no natural predators in Hawaiʻi, and pose a serious threat to the environment because they compete with native animal populations for food and habitat.
“Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to our endangered native birds,” agricultural officials said.
Rainbow boas are native to Central and South America and can grow up to six feet in length, according to the HDOA. In the wild, their diet consists of rodents, birds, lizards and possible aquatic animals, officials said.
The snake was initially turned over to police, who in turn notified the HDOA.
The possession or transport of snakes in Hawaiʻi is considered a class C felony, and is subject to a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.
The HDOA has an amnesty program that allows illegal animals to be turned in with immunity from prosecution, and protection of the animals from being euthanized.
Illegal animals cab be turned in to any HDOA Office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaʻewa Zoo in Hilo or any Humane Society, with no questions asked and no fines assessed.
To report illegal animals, the public can call state’s PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST(7378).