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Python Snake Turned in on Oahu

An illegal snake was turned in over the weekend under the State’s Amnesty Program. The snake was turned in on the evening of Friday, Jan. 13th to the Hawaiian Humane Society on Oahu. Inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) picked up the snake the next morning and it is being safeguarded at the Plant Quarantine Branch. It has been identified as a ball python and measures about four-and-a-half feet long and weighs about four-and-a-half lbs.

Snakes are illegal in Hawaii. They have no natural predators here and pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s 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 endangered native birds. Large snakes can also be a danger to the public and small pets.

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 related to boas, which are also constrictors that subdue its prey by coiling around and suffocating it.  Its diet usually consists of small mammals and birds.  Ball pythons may grow up to six-feet long.

Under the amnesty program, illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo on Hawaii Island or any Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed. Anyone with information about illegal animals should call the toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).  The maximum penalty under State law for possession and/or transporting illegal animals is a class C felony, $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

Live Snake Captured on Maui Coffee Farm

A live snake was captured by a worker on a Maui coffee farm on Friday afternoon, July 1, 2016. The snake was reported to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture on Maui and a plant quarantine inspector picked up the snake, which was later identified as a non-venomous ball python.

Ball Python Found on Maui Coffee Farm

Ball Python Found on Maui Coffee Farm

The snake measured about three to four feet long and was euthanized on Maui due to its condition. It is not known how the snake got to the farm, which is located in Kaanapali.

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 related to boas, which are also constrictors that subdue its prey by coiling around and suffocating it. Its diet usually consists of small mammals and birds. Ball pythons may grow up to six-feet long.

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.

Individuals who see or know of illegal animals in Hawaii are encouraged to contact the State’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).

Python Snake Found in Hawaii

Honolulu police captured a two-and-a-half-foot-long* snake yesterday in a garage at a Pearl City home. Residents of the Kaweloka St. home called police in the early evening and police called the Honolulu Zoo, which called an agricultural inspector.

the length of the snake was earlier reported to be four-feet long, however, the measurement is 2 1/2 feet long.

the length of the snake was earlier reported to be four-feet long, however, the measurement is 2 1/2 feet long.

In the meantime, officers captured the snake, which was identified as a non-venomous ball python and took it to the Pearl City Substation. The snake is being safeguarded at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Plant Quarantine Branch. Inspectors are still investigating the incident.

Snakes are illegal in Hawaii. Ball pythons are common in the pet trade on the mainland. They are native to Western and West-Central Africa and are related to boas, which are also constrictors that subdue its prey by coiling around and suffocating it. Its diet usually consists of small mammals and birds. Ball pythons may grow up to six-feet in length.

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.

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, Honolulu Zoo or any Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed.

Persons possessing illegal animals may be charged with a class C felony and subject to fines up to $200,000 and three years in prison.  Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).

Lizard Talk at Lyman Museum

Among the many immigrants to reach Hawaiian shores are certain members of the reptilian Order Squamata (which includes lizards and snakes).  A variety of lizards have arrived with people through the years and made their homes in Hawai`i.  In addition to the several species of geckos which most of us here know well, and which have been in the Islands the longest, there are species of skinks, anoles, iguanas, and chameleons that have also established themselves as colonists.

My dog freaking out on a Jackson Chameleon

My dog freaking out on a Jackson Chameleon

On Monday, August 25, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Lyman Museum, Dr. William Mautz pulls back the foliage to look at these special creatures: their habits and habitats, how and when they came to Hawai`i, and prospects for a future in which other immigrant lizards may gain a toehold.  Dr. Mautz is a professor of biology at UH-Hilo, where he teaches and conducts research on the physiology and ecology of amphibians and reptiles.

The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawai`i.  Located in historic downtown Hilo at 276 Haili Street, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  For more information, call (808) 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.

Live Snake Found on Sidewalk in Chinatown Over on Oahu

A pedestrian found a live snake on a Chinatown sidewalk at about 7 a.m. this morning and turned it in to police.  Police notified the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and inspectors were immediately dispatched to pick up the two-and-a-half foot long snake, which was later identified as a non-venomous rainbow boa constrictor. The snake was found on the sidewalk on Nuuanu Ave. fronting the Kukui Plaza condominium.

This Rainbow Boa was found alive today in Chinatown in Honolulu.

This Rainbow Boa was found alive today in Chinatown in Honolulu.

Rainbow boas are native to Central and South America and can grow up to six feet in length. In the wild, their diet consists of rodents, birds, lizards and possible aquatic animals.

Snakes are illegal to possess and transport to Hawaii. The HDOA urges those who spot illegal animals or who know of persons possessing illegal animals to call the state’s PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST(7378).  Snakes and large lizards have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s 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.

The state’s Amnesty Program allows illegal animals to be turned in and provides immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA Office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo in Hilo or any Humane Society — no questions asked and no fines assessed. Animals turned in under amnesty will not be euthanized. The maximum penalty under state law for possessing and/or transporting illegal animals, a class C felony, is a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

Snakes on the Pali – Boa Constrictor Becomes Roadkill on Pali Highway

A dead snake was turned over to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) last week after it was apparently run over and killed by a Windward motorist on the Pali Highway last Sunday (Sept. 22).

This was a snake found ran over on the mainland.  National Parks Service Photo

This was a snake found ran over on the mainland. National Parks Service Photo

The motorist said he was traveling town-bound on the Pali Highway near the entrance to the Nuuanu Reservoir at about 5 p.m. last Sunday when he ran over the five-foot long snake. He pulled over and picked up the dead snake and took it to a relative’s home. The motorist called HDOA Monday afternoon and Plant Quarantine inspectors picked up the snake, which was later identified as a boa constrictor.

After picking up the dead snake within an hour after it was reported, several inspectors went directly to the area where it was found but did not find evidence of any other snakes.

“Any snake found in the wild in Hawaii is of serious concern,” said Russell S. Kokubun, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Boa constrictors may grow up to 12 feet, which is particularly troubling for nearby residents and for the environment.”

Snakes are illegal to possess and transport to Hawaii and HDOA urges those who spot illegal animals or who know of persons possessing illegal animals to call the state’s PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST(7378).  Snakes and large lizards have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s 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. Large snakes may also kill pets and even humans.

The state’s Amnesty Program allows illegal animals to be turned in and provides immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA Office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo in Hilo or any Humane Society — no questions asked and no fines assessed. Animals turned in under amnesty will not be euthanized. The maximum penalty under state law for possessing and/or transporting illegal animals, a class C felony, is a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

Venomous “Flying” Snake Found on Hawaii Air Force Base

Military personnel at Hickam Air Force Base captured a small snake yesterday afternoon in a maintenance bay near the airfield.  Inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture were called and took custody of the foot-long snake.

Photo of Ornate Tree Snake captured at Hickam AFB. Photo by:  Dr. Allen Allison, Bishop Museum

Photo of Ornate Tree Snake captured at Hickam AFB.
Photo by: Dr. Allen Allison, Bishop Museum

The snake was later identified as a juvenile ornate tree snake (Chrysopelea ornate) by a herpetologist at the Bishop Museum. Ornate Tree Snakes are mildly venomous and are related to the brown tree snake, which has devastated the ecosystem in Guam.

Ornate Tree Snakes are native to South East Asia and their diet consists of lizards, mice, bats and birds. They are also known as ornate flying tree snakes for their ability to spring from tree to tree.

It is not known at this time how the snake got to Hawaii; however, Air Force personnel are continuing surveys of the area.

Six Foot Long Snake Found in Oahu Field – Snakes in Hawaii?

*I don’t know how I missed this on the news recently*

Two dead snakes have been turned in to the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) in two separate incidents recently.

On Tuesday (7/31), a Central O`ahu 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 HDOA’s Plant Quarantine Office.

In a separate incident, 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.

Garter snake turned in at Waikiki hotel

The snake, which appeared to be dried and dead for a while, measured about six-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 Hawai`i and pose a serious threat to Hawai`i’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 four-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 Hawai`i is asked to call the toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).

I Can Handle Coqui Frogs… But Keep Them Damn Snakes Out of Hawaii

Media Release:

It was one of the first evening classes since arriving in Guam. Suddenly there was a snake, just six inches away, tongue out, staring coldly into his eyes. Raymond McGuire, Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s coqui control coordinator, later realized his work capturing coqui frogs on the Big Island had helped him spot the Brown Tree Snake (BTS) which can be nearly invisible outdoors.

Raymond Pulling a snake out of his trap

Raymond Pulling a snake out of his trap

McGuire was one of nine Pacific island-based personnel, including several from Hawaii Invasive Species Committees, sent to Guam for a three-week training led by James Stanford, BTS rapid response coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey.

According to Page Else, Big Island Invasive Species Committee public outreach specialist, the impact of the Brown Tree Snake — which first invaded Guam in WWII — has been very costly to that island territory’s economic, ecological and social environment. She added it would cause similar problems for Hawaii.

A snake

A snake

“These snakes are frequent flyers and somehow know to crawl into airplane wheel wells or cargo holds. Without constant airport inspections, Hawaii is sure to be infiltrated,” Else said recently. “Snake populations would rapidly establish in Hawaii, with rats, mice, birds and lizards as plentiful food sources. The threat is even more of a concern now due to the military base buildup on Guam and the current constraints on government budgets.”

Christy Leppanen, until recently the Honolulu-based state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ invasive species specialist, is the newly appointed Invasive Species Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This summer, she will be moving to Saipan to make sure, as Leppanen tells it, “the Brown Tree Snake doesn’t make it to Hawaii.”

Leppanen joined McGuire and Shawn Okumura of the Big Island Invasive Species Committee in the BTS training in Guam. McGuire and Okumura said they felt the training was worthwhile, although arduous. The students received daily classroom instruction in the mornings and four hours each night of field training in finding and capturing the BTS.

The first night in the field, a small snake bit into Shawn's leather glove

The first night in the field, a small snake bit into Shawn's leather glove

During the evening field session, the participants entered snake enclosures full of vegetation and trees to count the number of snakes. Initially, McGuire found it hard to coax himself to grab the snakes without hesitation. The duration of three weeks’ training helped him conquer that challenge. He learned to use the snakes’ scales and coloring as cues. The BTS’s scales shimmered in the light and sometimes – but not always – their eyes shined. BTS can vary in color from olive to dark brown and the older snakes often have yellow bellies.

By the end of the three weeks of training, McGuire had caught 15 snakes with hand tools and many more in traps. Okumura earned the record for most hand-captured snakes in one evening: seven.

Shawn and his large snake

Shawn and his large snake

Trapped BTS were bad-tempered, according to McGuire. Each participant was responsible for 10 traps that they checked every other day. The density of Guam’s BTS population became apparent as the group captured 70 snakes from a three-acre parcel one night, only to return two days later and capture another 60.

Working in teams of two, the participants learned to maneuver the snakes without frightening them, coaxing them onto branches where they could be captured. One trick they were taught was to thump a tree to get the BTS to descend from the upper branches.

Gurney Amore and Shawn Okumura holding a large snake

Gurney Amore and Shawn Okumura holding a large snake

According to the trainer, BTS are only mildly venomous and are not aggressive in the wild but quickly realize when they are being hunted. For children, a bite can result in a hospital visit but adults are usually not affected, the trainer said.

Okumura and McGuire deliberately allowed themselves to get bit, to make sure they were not allergic. “It didn’t hurt, even though the snakes try hard and chew strongly,” McGuire reported.

Obviously, the BTS is a potential threat to Hawaii’s environment but it is not the only reptilian threat, according to Else. Other snake species have been smuggled into Hawaii, despite it being against the law to do so. “Many people do not understand the impact snake populations could pose to our economy and ecosystems,” Else said. “It is illegal to bring a snake into the state but there have been over 300 credible snake sightings in the past 25 years, with only 100 recovered.”

The BIISC representative in Hilo said that designated state and federal employees continue to train and guard Hawaii against invasion by snakes and other biological threats. “We’re glad to have our ‘snake warriors’ ready to protect our island,” she said.

She then urged anyone who spots a snake to immediately call the Big Island Invasive Species Committee hotline at 961-3299 or the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife at 974-4221

Looking for a Snake on the Big Island

Anyone have a snake I could use for my plumbing?

Or does any know of any good plumbers that work at a reasonable rate for something that should be fairly easy to do?