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June 14, 2001

Pearl City Man Finds Python in Bathroom

Honolulu - A Pearl City man awoke this morning to find a two-foot-long snake on the toilet seat in his bathroom. The man called 911 and arriving police called the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA). An inspector was dispatched and caught the snake at about 7:40 a.m. The snake has been identified as a ball python, (Python regius), and is being safeguarded at the HDOA Plant Quarantine Branch. It is unknown how the snake entered the home, which was purchased two months ago by the man and his family.

A photo opportunity of the snake is scheduled between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. this afternoon at the Plant Quarantine Station, located at 701 Ilalo Street. Due to road construction in the area, take Cooke Street, heading toward Kakaako Park and enter through the Food Distribution Center parking lot.

Ball pythons are common in the pet trade on the mainland and are native to Western and West-Central Africa. They are called ball pythons because, when frightened, they coil around their head into a tight ball. They are non-venomous and 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.

Persons possessing illegal animal, such as snakes, are subject to stiff penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to three years in jail. Individuals with illegal pets are encouraged to turn them in under the department's Amnesty Program, which provides immunity from prosecution. Anyone with information or knowledge of illegal animals in Hawaii is asked to call the department's PEST HOTLINE at 586-PEST(7378).