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Pedestrian finds boa constrictor on Chinatown sidewalk

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:33 a.m. HST, Nov 6, 2013

A pedestrian found a live 2 1/2-foot-long snake on a Chinatown sidewalk at about 7 a.m. Tuesday and turned it in to police, the state Agriculture Department announced.

The snake, found on the Nuuanu Avenue sidewalk fronting the Kukui Plaza condominium, has been identified as a non-venomous rainbow boa constrictor. 

According to agriculture officials, rainbow boas are native to Central and South America and can grow up to 6 feet long. In the wild, their diet consists of rodents, birds, lizards and aquatic animals. 

Snakes are illegal to possess and transport to Hawaii. They pose a serious threat to Hawaii's environment because they have no natural predators here, and because they would compete with native animal populations for food and habitat. Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to endangered native birds. 

To report a snake, call the state's pest hotline at 643-7378.  

The state's Amnesty Program allows illegal animals to be turned in and provides immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals may be turned in to any department of agriculture office, the Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo in Hilo or any Humane Society.

The maximum penalty under state law for possessing and/or transporting illegal animals, a class C felony, is a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison. 

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