Maui News

4-Foot Snake Found in Waipahu

February 1, 2011, 12:27 PM HST
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A non-venomous black rat snake was found and captured in Waipahu over the weekend.  The snake was spotted by several individuals near the Honolulu City & County Refuse Convenience Center on Waipahu Depot Road at around noon on Sunday.

Snake found in Waipahu. HDOA photo.

Inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture responded to the scene after witnesses alerted police, and police in turn called the pest hotline.

Inspectors used a car jack to lift a concrete barrier where the snake was hiding.  They were able to coax the 4’4″ snake out of a hole in the barrier, as witnesses held a net over the opening.

“It is rare that a sighting results in an actual capture of a snake in the wild,” said Russell S. Kokubun, Interim Chairperson for the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.

“Snakes are at the top of the list of invasive species threatening our islands and we need everyone’s help to protect Hawaii,” added Kokubun.

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Black rat snakes are part of the constrictor family and are considered excellent swimmers.  They are native to North America and can grow to about seven feet in length.

Photo of Waipahu Depot Road where snake was found, courtesy HDOA & Google.

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Snakes have no natural predators in Hawaii and HDOA officials say they pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s environment.  Many species prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to endangered native birds in the islands.

Individuals who have illegal animals are encouraged to turn them.  Illegal pets can be turned in to any HDOA office, the Honolulu Zoo or any Humane Society, under the State’s amnesty program, which provides immunity from prosecution. Under the program, people can surrender illegal animals with no questions asked and no fines assessed. Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).

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