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For Immediate Release:  July 18, 2006                                 NR06-09


HONOLULU – A three-and-a-half-foot-long snake was confiscated by officers from the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) and turned over to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) this morning.  The snake, identified as a ball python, was picked up by agriculture inspectors at HPD’s Pearl City Substation at about 9:15 a.m. 

Snakes are illegal in Hawaii.  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 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).


For more information, contact:

Janelle Saneishi
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Phone: (808) 973-9560
[email protected]