A ball python and iguana were found in residential areas on Oahu earlier this week, the state Department of Agriculture reported.
On Monday, a 3-foot long snake identified as a ball python was captured in an Aiea neighborhood. A neighbor saw the snake on another property around 10 a.m. and called the Honolulu Police Department. Officers covered the snake with a trash can and called DOA agricultural inspectors, who then took it to the department’s Plant Quarantine Branch.
The ball python is not poisonous. It’s native to Western and West-Central Africa and primarily subdues prey by constricting and suffocating them. They can grow up to 5 feel long.
The DOA said that they are common in the pet trade on the mainland, but pose a threat to Hawaii’s environment, as they can prey on native bird species and their eggs. Larger snakes can also be dangerous to the public and small pets.
On Tuesday, a woman who lives on Kumuhau Street in Waimanalo spotted an iguana in her backyard. Agricultural inspectors were again called and transferred the animal to the quarantine branch.
The iguana was measured to be about 3-and-a-half feet long. They are established in some areas of Oahu, the DOA said, but it is illegal to import, possess or transport them in Hawaii.
They can also grow to be about 6 feet long, and, while typically vegetarian, are known to disturb bird nestlings and eat eggs. Their tails can be dangerous weapons in fending off enemies, the DOA said.
Iguanas are native to central Mexico through South America.
People illegally possessing animals can face fines up to $200,000 and three years in prison.