A man who traveled from Florida to Hawaii inadvertently brought a snake with him that caused a scare among local officials.
According to The Associated Press, the unnamed 20-year-old Virginia man had arrived at his vacation rental property on Maui Monday when the southern black racer snake slithered out of his backpack.
The United States Department of Agriculture said the non-venomous snake measured about a foot long and a quarter-inch in diameter. While its size wasn’t overwhelming, the snake has no natural predators in Hawaii and poses a threat to the state’s native species.
When the owner of the Hawaiian vacation rental property was notified of the incident by the man, he contacted police, who arrived on the scene and captured the snake with the help of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
While the man allegedly brought the snake to Hawaii by accident, he was informed that transporting illegal pets on purpose is a felony punishable by a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.
The snake is expected to be transferred to Oahu, officials said.
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