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5 snakes and 2 lizards turned in to Humane Society

By Gregg K. Kakesako

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:49 p.m. HST, Dec 08, 2011


Five juvenile snakes and two skinks and one lizard — all illegal alien reptiles — were turned into the Hawaiian Humane Society afternoon under its shelter's amnesty program.

The state Agriculture Department said a woman turned in three ball pythons, two boa constrictors, two blue-tongued skinks and one monitor lizard to the Hawaiian Humane Society Wednesday afternoon under the state's amnesty program.

The amnesty program allows illegal animals to be turned in and provides immunity from prosecution. Animals turned in under amnesty will not be euthanized.

The animals are housed at the Agriculture's Department plant quarantine branch and will likely be shipped out of the state at a later date.

Mike Malta, the society's shelter manager, said the reptiles looked like they were "household pets."

"They were very tame and could be handled," Malta said.

He said the woman, who surrendered the animals, was not questioned about the reptiles since they were turned in under an amnesty program.

The agriculture department officials probably will send the snakes to the mainland since the zoo here already has the maximum number of the species, two, allowed under state law.

Snakes and other reptiles are illegal in Hawaii because of the threat they pose to the island's ecosystem  because they compete with native animal populations for food and habitat. They have no natural predators in Hawaii.

Possessing illegal animals is a Class C felony punishable by a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.






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