Hawaii raises alarm after Python is discovered in Oahu home

A welfare check at a home in Honolulu last Saturday turned up a deceased male and a live 11-foot python.

Few details have been released about the dead man. But the discovery of a pet python in a state that doesn’t allow snakes alarmed state officials.

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

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

Ball python. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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

(Possession of snakes and other illegal animals in Hawaii is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $200,000 and three years in prison. Under the amnesty program, citizens can surrender illegal animals, prior to the start of an investigation, without fear. of persecution.)

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

Ball pythons are native to West and Central Africa and can grow up to 6 feet long. They largely hunt birds and small mammals.

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

–Top image courtesy of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture

The story originally appeared on For The Win