Large snake discovered on Hawaii island - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Large snake discovered on Hawaii island

Domingo Cravalho Domingo Cravalho

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KEAAU (HawaiiNewsNow)- A surprise on the Big Island - a homeowner comes home to find a boa constrictor camped out in the corner of his garage.

It's the largest snake caught in Hawaii in at least five years. The boa measures a whopping six feet.

A Keaau resident called Big Island police on Friday saying he found the boa constrictor in his garage.

Officers and the Hawaii Island Humane Society caught it.

On Monday, the snake flew to Honolulu where it is now under quarantine at the Department of Agriculture's animal facility.

Boas aren't venomous, but could pose a threat to Hawaii's environment.

"They pose a problem to native species. They'll eat small mammals. They can consume birds as well," said Domingo Cravalho, Inspector and Compliance Chief with the Department of Agriculture.

That's why the state encourages people to turn them in, no penalties, no questions asked.

"That's the problem with these types of animals, they're very cryptic, very hard to see in the wild, so it's best that if people have them in their possession, they should really think about turning it in," said Cravalho.

The boa, is the second snake turned in this year.

Because of its size, Cravalho says it may have been a pet.

Someone either let it go, or the boa may have escaped.

For now, this reptile will stay in quarantine where the state keeps other confiscated illegal animals, including a piranha and tarantulas.

The Department of Agriculture will take it to the Honolulu Zoo to find out if its a boy or girl.

If it's a boy, it may issue the zoo a permit to let it stay there, if the zoo wants it.

If it's a girl -

"Eventually ship it out to a clearinghouse on the mainland where the animal wouldn't suffer or be put down," said Cravalho.

That's because the zoo already has two male snakes, so the state doesn't want to risk reproduction.

Anyone caught possessing an illegal animal, can face a $200,000 fine and three years in prison.

To avoid that, you can turn them in by calling the PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST.

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