Snake stows away in bag for trip to Hawaii from Florida (Reports).
A small snake was captured after it was found slithering out of a visitor’s backpack at a Pukalani vacation rental Monday.
The owner informed the visitor that snaked are illegal here in Hawaii, so they informed the Maui Police. The Native Ecosystem Protection Management – Maui Nui program of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) responded along with police to detain the snake overnight.
The snake was delivered to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Tuesday morning and will be transported to Honolulu.
It was determined to be a non-venomous southern black racer, that are mainly found in Florida and the eastern half of the U.S. They can grow up to six feet in length. Their diet consists of mainly frogs, lizards, snakes, rodents, birds and their eggs.
HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors say it appears the snake was a stowaway and not purposely transported to the Aloha State.
“It is fortunate that the owner of the rental was aware of the seriousness of the snake being transported to Hawaii and took appropriate action and reported it,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Visitors to our islands may not fully understand the threat that snakes pose to our community and our unique environment. It takes all of us to protect Hawaii.”
There are no natural predators for snakes in Hawaii. Therefore, they pose a serious threat the state’s environment. Those who see or know of illegal animals in Hawaii are asked to contact the state’s Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378).