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Pedestrian finds boa constrictor on Chinatown sidewalk

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:33 a.m. HST, Nov 06, 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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ryan02 wrote:
It's difficult to tell for sure, because the SA's reporting is sometimes . . . uh . . . "lacking," but it sounds like the pedestrian caught the snake and turned it in (based on the use of the phrase "turned it in to police" as opposed to "reported it to police."). If so, that guy or gal is pretty brave. I would have run away screaming. Kudos to whoever it was.
on November 5,2013 | 11:56AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
No doubt on its way to work at the legislature.
on November 5,2013 | 11:56AM
MexMe wrote:
Hahahahaha!!! Best comment!!
on November 5,2013 | 04:38PM
kailua000 wrote:
awesome comment!! LOL
on November 5,2013 | 08:03PM
pauahiakuna wrote:
If this is a baby snake, there are probably others.......The owner should be prosecuted, at the very least for disrespecting the laws of Hawaii, and especially for not caring about jeopardizing our eco-system, etc.
on November 5,2013 | 11:59AM
DAGR81 wrote:
Agree. Amnesty should be granted to those who voluntarily turn the snakes in...however, our prosecutors insist on leniency for those who are caught. When caught with an banned creature that person should be given the maximum penalty to discourage further violations.
on November 5,2013 | 01:40PM
syhud wrote:
Yup, never did see anyone who got caught serve the full extent of the punishment.
on November 5,2013 | 02:23PM
false wrote:
In Chinatown, there is a whole population of rats to live off of. There must be more snakes as rodent control measure and one just got found out. No more manapua.
on November 5,2013 | 03:17PM
Mythman wrote:
We're so generous, anyone can come live here, say, someone from Brazil, and they can bring their pets with them. Look what happened to the Florida Everglades with the introduced Burmese Python. Chilling story.
on November 5,2013 | 03:25PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Sweet sour sauce!
on November 5,2013 | 12:18PM
blkdrgn wrote:
Couldn't a mongoose be considered a natural predator to the snake?
on November 5,2013 | 12:22PM
frontman wrote:
There are a lot of snakes on Hotel Street but most are on two legs.
on November 5,2013 | 12:25PM
atilter wrote:
but nothing that a long Y-pronged stick could not handle when readily visible !
on November 5,2013 | 12:32PM
stanmanley wrote:
There goes my dinner.
on November 5,2013 | 12:43PM
Anonymous wrote:
Chinatown!? This bugger is lucky haven't been eaten by the Chinese.
on November 5,2013 | 12:56PM
Mythman wrote:
Hey, watch it - you might be closer to the truth than you know.
on November 5,2013 | 03:26PM
otoko wrote:
2013 is the Year of the Snake according to Chinese zodiac. The Year of the Snake starts from Feb. 10, 2013 (the Lunar New Year / Spring Festival of China) and lasts to Jan. 30, 2014. There you have it.
on November 5,2013 | 01:02PM
Oahuan wrote:
Of course it's a rainbow.
on November 5,2013 | 01:04PM
loquaciousone wrote:
The question is "Did he get his chance to testify in behalf of the rainbow coalition?
on November 5,2013 | 01:24PM
AhiPoke wrote:
Boas and pythons have inundated Florida to the point of being significant risks to residents. Given our climate and lack of any real predator these snakes could become a real hazzrd to our state. Idiots who bring these into the state should spend prison time along with huge monetary fines.
on November 5,2013 | 01:30PM
haleiwalad1 wrote:
No snakes in Hawai'i, huh?
on November 5,2013 | 02:01PM
paradiddle wrote:
That was going to be the "Special of the Night" at the nearest Chinese restaurant!
on November 5,2013 | 03:32PM
808comp wrote:
I have yet to see someone prosecuted for having a snake.
on November 5,2013 | 03:48PM
IslandKine wrote:
We need to find the source of these snakes coming in so our Island doesn't become overrun with snakes from other parts of the world.
on November 5,2013 | 04:34PM
MexMe wrote:
I would like further information such as the investigation (or not) that the HPD will do to determine the origin of the snake. It couldn't have come from very far away. Why doesn't the SA do some investigative reporting of its own instead of just listening to a police scanner?
on November 5,2013 | 04:41PM
RandolphW wrote:
At least the boa constrictor didn't make it into the soup pot.
on November 5,2013 | 05:17PM
2NDC wrote:
That's why the folks at "Shanghai Kitchen" told me "No special today". :-(
on November 5,2013 | 06:18PM
kailua000 wrote:
on November 5,2013 | 08:05PM
Alewa2Mililani wrote:
LOL..lotta funny comments on this story...that snake actually looks pretty nice...i have a relative that would go crazy to have a snake in Hawaii. When they start finding feral cats dead due to suffocation/constriction is when we gotta worry about snakes running amok.
on November 5,2013 | 06:35PM
kailua000 wrote:
Im betting some chinese restaurant imports them or one of the butchers import them for the restaurants. One just got lose.
on November 5,2013 | 08:03PM
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