A jogger came across a dead snake on her morning jog along Kuhio Highway in Haena, Kauai Friday.
The woman who found the snake is an intern with the Limahuli Garden and Preserve, a private, non-profit botanical garden near where the snake was found. Another employee from the preserve retrieved the snake and inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) picked up the snake soon after it was reported.
The snake has been identified as a boa constrictor measuring about five feet in length.
It is not known at this time what the sex of the snake is or how it died. It will be 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 concerned that this snake was found in an area that is a preserve for many endangered native birds and other biota.
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 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.
Snakes are illegal in Hawaii. Persons possessing illegal animals are subject to stiff 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 HOTLINE 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.
Photos provided by the Department of Agriculture.