HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Another live snake has been captured on Hawaii Island. It’s the third snake to be found in the state in the last two months.
The Department of Agriculture said the live ball python was found in Hilo early Monday morning by an American Medical Response ambulance crew.
The slithering creature measured about 4 feet in length and weighed about 3 pounds. It was found near the Old Airport Road.
Officers contacted a plant quarantine inspector with the HDOA when it was then taken into the Hilo Plant Quarantine Office. Staff at the Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo said the snake is a sexually immature female ball python.
Authorities said they were first alerted to a snake in the area via a Facebook post on June 27. Since then, inspectors have set traps and conducted nightly searches, but all efforts turned up empty.
In the same area in Oct. 2019, a 3-foot-long ball python was captured by a resident who ran over it. And in June 2018, a 4 ½-foot-long ball python was found at the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill by county workers.
“Ball pythons are non-venomous and may grow up to six feet in length. They are common in the pet trade on the mainland and are native to Western and West-Central Africa. Ball pythons are constrictors that subdue prey by coiling around and suffocating it. Its diet usually consists of small mammals and birds,” the HDOA said.
Snakes pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s environment. Anyone caught with a snake or importing them may be charged with a class C felony. Fines can vary up to $200,000, and it carries a prison term of up to five years.
Penalties can be avoided under the state’s amnesty program. Officials say any illegal animal may be dropped off at any HDOA Office, local Humane Society or at municipal zoos. Animals turned in under amnesty will not be euthanized.
Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the State’s toll-free Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378).