A live ball python snake was captured over the weekend in Hilo on the road next to the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill by county workers.
Plant Quarantine inspectors have revised the estimated length of the snake found. They now believe it somewhere between four-and-a-half to five feet in length (the earlier estimate was three-and-a-half feet).
Hawaiʻi County Police contacted HDOA’s Plant Quarantine Branch in Hilo Monday morning and inspectors picked up the snake, which has been tentatively identified as a non-venomous ball python.
The snake was being transported to the HDOA’s Plant Quarantine Branch in Honolulu at last report.
Ball pythons are non-venomous and are common in the pet trade on the mainland. They are native to Western and West-Central Africa and are constrictors that subdue prey by coiling around it, causing death by suffocation.
Their diet usually consists of small mammals and birds. HDOA officials say ball pythons may grow up to six feet long.
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.
Individuals who see or know of illegal animals in Hawaiʻi are encouraged to contact the State’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378) or turn them in under the State’s Amnesty Program.