HONOLULU — An intern at the Limahuli Garden and Preserve came across a dead snake on her morning jog along Kuhio Highway in Haena Friday.
Another employee from the preserve retrieved the snake and inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) picked it up soon after the discovery was reported.
The snake has been identified as a boa constrictor measuring about 5 feet in length. The sex of the snake and how it died was unknown, according to an HDOA press release.
It was transported to Honolulu and arrangements have been made with a zoologist at the Bishop Museum, who will examine and catalog the snake.
Both the Limahuli Garden and Preserve and HDOA are “very concerned” the snake was found in an area that is a preserve for many endangered native birds and other biota, according to the release.
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.
Snakes have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a serious threat to the Aloha State’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 Hawaii. Persons possessing illegal animals are subject to harsh penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to three years in prison.
Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the state’s toll-free pest hot-line 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.