Hawaii sounds alarm after python is discovered at Oahu home

A wellness check at a Honolulu home last Saturday turned up a deceased male and a live python that measured 3-1/2 feet.

Few details were released regarding the dead man. But the discovery of a pet python in a state where snakes are not allowed was alarming to state officials.

“We should all be very concerned that snakes are being transported and kept by residents which are a serious threat to Hawaii’s unique environment,” Sharon Hurd, chairwoman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, stated in a news release.

“Those who know anyone with snakes or other illegal animals in Hawaii should report it and those who possess them should turn them in under amnesty.”

Ball python. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii’s amnesty program is designed to deter people from releasing unwanted invasive reptiles into the wild, where they could establish populations and threaten native fauna.

(Possessing snakes and other illegal animals in Hawaii is a class C felony, punishable by fines of up to $200,000 and three years in prison. Under the amnesty program, citizens can turn in illegal animals, prior to the start of an investigation, without fear of prosecution.)

The snake found at the Honolulu-area home was a nonvenomous ball python, which was transported to the HDOA’s Plant Quarantine Branch.

Ball pythons are native to West and Central Africa and can measure up to six feet. They prey largely on birds and small mammals.

In January, a 20-inch gopher snake was discovered in a shipping container that was being unloaded at a Molokai hardware store. Police arrived and killed the snake with a pellet gun.

–Top image courtesy of Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Story originally appeared on For The Win