A live skunk was captured at Honolulu Harbor this morning, the state Department of Agriculture reported.
Stevedores saw the young, male skunk on the dock and used a fishing net to capture the animal. Agricultural inspectors from the DOA picked up the animal at around 7:30 a.m.
The skunk is currently being tested for rabies.
The DOA said that the container ship docked at the pier arrived Tuesday morning and was carrying cargo the came from Canada, Mexico, the U.S. and possibly other foreign ports. It left the pier this morning for Kahului Harbor, where personnel were advised to keep a lookout for other stowaways.
Traps have been deployed at Pier 1 to catch other hitchhiking animals that may be around.
Live skunks were previously caught at the pier in January and July of last year and in February 2018. They were also captured at Kahului Harbor in December 2020 and August 2018. All caught skunks have tested negative for rabies.
Skunks are prohibited in Hawaii and are only allowed via permit for research or exhibition at a zoo.
In the U.S., they are among the top four carriers of rabies, a fatal viral disease of mammals that’s transferred via biting. Hawaii is the only state in the country, and among the few in the world, that is free of rabies.
Those who see or capture illegal and invasive species can report them to the state’s pest hotline at 808-643-7378.