HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A live California kingsnake is now being safeguarded at the state’s Plant Quarantine Branch.
The 3 1/2 foot snake was turned into the Honolulu Zoo on Tuesday under the state’s amnesty program.
Its unclear where the snake came from, but California kingsnakes are said to be one of the most popular species for pet snakes in parts of the mainland.
When the snake was brought to the zoo, officials alerted the Hawaii Department of Agriculture immediately, who took the snake away.
“The state offers amnesty for the voluntary surrender of illegal animals because we do not want these animals set free in the wild,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairwoman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, in a news release.
“Surrendered animals will not be killed and will be used for educational purposes and may eventually be sent to wildlife refuges on the Mainland."
Kingsnakes are non-venomous and can grow up to four feet in length. Their primary diet includes lizards, reptiles, birds, bird eggs, rodents and other small mammals.
Snakes pose an incredible threat to Hawaii’s ecosystem.
Possessing illegal animals is a class C felony that may come with a fine upwards of $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).