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Tourists find snake in their Kona vacation condo

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 06:01 p.m. HST, Jul 03, 2013

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.

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environmental_lady wrote:
I don't see how a snake could have hitchhiked in luggage as it is fully examined by TSA and agricultural inspectors. More likely the previous inhabitants smuggled the snake in somehow. All in all, it is very disturbing. All it takes is one or two snakes to escape and our island will be infested by these horrible pests.
on July 3,2013 | 05:07PM
mikethenovice wrote:
I could rent that snake for a week to eat the bugs in my house while I am on vacation.
on July 4,2013 | 06:20AM
Lanikaula wrote:
ALL INCOMING luggage to Hawaii should have the SAME inspections WE ISLANDERS have when we have to go through AG inspections BEFORE leaving the islands to the continental america or ANYWHERE! what's up wit that?!
on July 3,2013 | 06:14PM
palani wrote:
I think this article is very disrespectful to the Governor. He's just doing his job, keeping the garden free of bugs.
on July 3,2013 | 06:33PM
copperwire9 wrote:
You thought that was cute didn't you?
on July 3,2013 | 09:53PM
mikethenovice wrote:
The Mayor selectively being mum on this. He's not stupid.
on July 4,2013 | 06:17AM
Nikaikid wrote:
I don't understand why the Agriculture Department is shipping the snake back to the mainland. Get rid of it by putting it to sleep! It has no business in Hawaii, we don't want it, kill it. Since the snake arrived unnoticed the first time by air, sending it somewhere, makes no sense.
on July 3,2013 | 06:48PM
mikethenovice wrote:
The animal rights tree huggers are watching.
on July 4,2013 | 06:17AM
BIG wrote:
maybe tsa thought it was a snake skin belt in the luggage...hahaha
on July 3,2013 | 07:49PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Don't put the homeless to sleep. Just ship them back.
on July 4,2013 | 06:18AM
Masami wrote:
If you're a snake the State doesn't think twice about shipping it back yet the homeless "snakes" from other States STAY HERE, create public nuisances, eat up our scarce social programs, etc..........
on July 3,2013 | 08:11PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Nasty. Mean-spirited. Crude.
on July 3,2013 | 09:54PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Hitched hiked? Better check the baggage again if a homeless person also hitchhiked.
on July 4,2013 | 06:15AM
mikethenovice wrote:
City Mill could have a name the snake contest?
on July 4,2013 | 06:16AM
cojef wrote:
At least this one did not get away. There still are individuals who don't give a rats --- about keeping the island safe from unwanted invasive species. Would question how a gartner snake can be innocently be among the belongings of an arriving tourist, unless the garter snake was secreted with utmost care to deter detection by current airport technology. Aluminium foil??/
on July 4,2013 | 07:48AM
eljay wrote:
as far as snakes go, garters are harmless....to humans....played with them as a kid on the mainland...
on July 4,2013 | 09:19AM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Huh? I thought garter snakes are non-venomous period?
on July 4,2013 | 11:24AM
Aquarius1 wrote:
Uh oh, did the kids pack their pet snake?
on July 4,2013 | 01:13PM
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