A family visiting Kona found a 16-inch-long snake in their vacation condo unit on Tuesday.
The state Department of Agriculture identified the black, orange, and yellow-colored reptile as a garter snake.
Officials say it’s possible the snake hitchhiked on the luggage of the family.
The snake was safeguarded at the Hilo Plant Quarantine Office. It was then transported to Honolulu and will be kept for educational purposes until it can be shipped out of the state.
Garter snakes are native to North America and Central America. Their diet consists of small prey, such as lizards, worms, insects and amphibians. Their bite may release a mild neurotoxin, which is not lethal to humans.
Snakes are illegal in Hawaii. 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.
Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378).