Dead Boa Constrictor Found Near Garden Preserve on Kaua‘i
A five-foot boa constrictor was found dead in an area that is a preserve for many endangered native birds and other biota on the island of Kauaʻi.
The discovery was made on Friday morning, June 30, 2017 by a jogger who came across the reptile along the Kūhiō Highway in Hāʻena, Kauaʻi. The woman who found the snake is an intern with the Limahuli Garden & Preserve, which is near to where the snake was found.
Another employee from the preserve retrieved the snake and inspectors from the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture picked up the reptile soon after it was reported. Agricultural officials say it is not known at this time what the sex of the snake is or how it died.
The animal will be transported to Honolulu and arrangements have been made with a zoologist at the Bishop Museum who will examine and catalog the snake.
Authorities say that both the Limahuli Garden & Preserve and HDOA are very concerned that this snake was found in an area that is a preserve for many endangered species.
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. Department officials note that snakes have no natural predators in Hawaiʻi and pose a serious threat to Hawaiʻi’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.
Snakes are illegal in Hawaiʻi. Individuals found in possession of illegal animals are subject to stiff penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to three years in prison.
Anyone with information on illegal animals is asked to call the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378). 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 Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed.