Tuesday, July 5, 2011

That's some snake! Boa constrictor captured

courtesy photo Hawaii Department of Agriculture
HONOLULU – A boa constrictor was captured yesterday and held overnight at the Honolulu Zoo.  Agricultural inspectors picked up the snake this morning and it is being safeguarded at the Plant Quarantine Branch of the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA).

The female snake measures nine-feet, three-inches, which is an adult size for boa constrictors.
HDOA does not have official information on the circumstances of the capture, which was initially reported by the Honolulu Police Department and involved personnel from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Honolulu Zoo.

DLNR reported that one of their enforcement officers was called at about 6:30 p.m. last night by hunters who had spotted a snake near the Waiawa Correctional Facility.  The DLNR officer picked up the snake and dropped it off at the Honolulu Zoo.

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 Hawai`i and pose a serious threat to Hawai`i'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.

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, Honolulu Zoo or any Humane Society - no questions asked and no fines assessed.  Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).