A family vacationing at a Kona acation condo unit found a 16-inch-long snake on Tuesday after they unpacked following their arrival earlier in the evening.
The black, orange and yellow-colored snake was identified as a garter snake.
Authorities speculated that the snake may have hitchhiked a ride on or in the family’s luggage.
The family turned the snake in to condo security guards. The snake spent the night at the Hilo Plant Quarantine Office and was flown to Honolulu. It will be kept for educational purposes until it can be shipped out of the state, the Agriculture Department said in a news release.
Garter snakes are native to North America and Central America. Their diet consists of small prey, such as lizards, worms, insects and amphibians. Their bite may release a mild neurotoxin, which is not lethal to humans.
Snakes are illegal in Hawaii and could pose a threat to native species.