Illegal Snakes, Irresponsible Owners

Larry Price
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Wednesday - July 13, 2011
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We have so many laws in Hawaii, it’s hard to keep track of them.

Some make a lot of sense and some don’t.

Many of our more highprofile laws deal with owners who are guilty of animal cruelty. It will be interesting to observe how diligent our investigators are in locating the person or people who brought a snake into Hawaii and then set it loose to fend for itself in Oahu’s rain forest.

The latest reptile to be discovered was a 9-foot-3-inch boa constrictor.

This particular breed of snake is very popular with collectors because of its variegated skin colors.

It was only luck that the giant snake was found by pig hunters in Waiawa Gulch and taken into state custody.

Officials were worried because they believe the female reptile may have given birth in the wild. Boas breed once a year and can have litters of 10-65 live babies at a time.

Because the weather in tropical Hawaii is to their liking, it wouldn’t take long for the islands to be populated with boas.

The captured snake has already been shipped out of Hawaii because it poses a significant health risk.

Even more scary, it is the third live snake captured on Oahu this year!

It’s obvious that some residents think Hawaii would be a better place with a population of illegal animals.

Naturally, residents who bring snakes into Hawaii do so because they are pets, and the thought of being separated from their beloved pet is unbearable. They are easy to get hold of on the Web, and so buying and selling them must be a booming business.

You have to admit that having a big multicolored boa in an aquarium in your living room would make interesting conversation for awe-struck guests.

Our aloha spirit should only go so far. Agriculture officials have always urged people to take advantage of the state’s amnesty program, in which they can turn in an illegal animal without a penalty.

All you have to do is call 643-PEST and they will take care of the rest.

What would be more fitting, since it appears to be easier to just release the animal into the wilderness and let it survive on its own, is to ship not only the illegal pet out of the state, but the owner and person who brokered the purchase at the same time.

With amnesty, of course.

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