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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
When Jesse Spence and Kanoa Wilson heard the thud under their wheels, they knew it wasn't your normal road kill.
The Kailua natives were headed to town on the Pali Highway to another friend's birthday party. But they said they ended up circling back on the Pali after seeing what they hit.
"I saw something in the road and I said 'Yo that's a snake' but my friends said you're tripping there are no snakes in Hawaii," said Spence.
"I was freaking out."
According to the state Department of Agriculture, the object was a five-foot long boa constrictor that had been living in the wild.
The snake was killed last Sunday in the town bound lane of the Pali Highway, not far from the entrance to the Nuuanu Reservoir.
Spence said the put the dead snake in a bucket and handed over the remains to the Agriculture Department.
"It wasn't moving by the time we got it but I was a little skittish picking it up because I've never seen a snake before," Spence said.
Wilson, who was a passenger, said he was skeptical at first.
"I've seen snakes on the mainland before and he was pretty done," he said.
"But it's the first time I've seen one of those snakes and it's the first time I saw a snake in Hawaii."
Large snakes are not native to Hawaii and are illegal to own and transport here. That's because they have no natural predators and pose a serious threat to indigenous birds and other native species.
The Agriculture Department said its inspectors later scoured the area but found no signs of other snakes. That segment of the Pali is next to a popular hiking trail and is not too far away from a residential area.
"Boa constrictors may grow up to 12 feet, which is particularly troubling for nearby residents and for the environment," said Russell Kokubun, chairperson of the Board of Agriculture.
"Any snake found in the wild in Hawaii is a serious concern."
Anyone who spots snakes or other illegal animals can call the state's pest hotline at 643-7378.