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January 7, 2003

Snake Turned In on Kauai

Honolulu - A small snake was turned in under amnesty to the Kauai Humane Society on Sunday, January 5. The one-and-a-half-foot long snake was then picked up by a Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) inspector on Kauai and transported to Honolulu where animal specialist identified it as a rosy boa (Lichanura trivirgata).

A photo opportunity of the snake has been scheduled for 3:00 p.m. this afternoon at HDOA's Plant Quarantine Branch, 1849 Auiki Street.

Snakes are illegal to possess in Hawaii and anyone caught with illegal animals 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 voluntarily turn them in under the department's Amnesty Program, which offers immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals pose serious threats to Hawaii's native animal species, environment and agricultural industries. Therefore, it is imperative that illegal animals be turned in rather than be set loose in the wild.

Anyone with information or knowledge of illegal animals in Hawaii is asked to call the department's PEST HOTLINE at 586-PEST (7378).

The rosy boa is native to the desert, brushlands and foothills of California, Arizona and Mexico. As the name implies, it is pink, rose or reddish-brown in color with stripes down the length of the body. The snake may grow up to four feet in length and is a powerful constrictor that preys on small mammals and birds.

For more information, please call 973-9560.