A 2-foot California king snake captured recently from a hole in a stone wall in Hauula.

Snake caught
in Hauula

The California king snake is
1 of 2 snakes turned in recently

By Pat Gee

Hauula resident Louis Prescott had to pull gently on a 2-foot snake for 10 minutes to get it out of a hole in a stone wall Saturday.

State Department of Agriculture employee Lisa Nakayama, above, held a ball python yesterday turned in during the state's ongoing amnesty program.

The test of wills started in the parking lot of Masa's Market in Hauula after a customer ran into the store after sighting the snake, according to manager Bae Yong.

Three men tried to corner the snake in the lot because they did not want a possibly poisonous snake loose that could bite children, Bae said.

After about 20 minutes, they saw the snake going into a hole.

Bae said Prescott recognized the black-and-white reptile as a California king snake and told the others it was not poisonous.

Half its body had already disappeared into the wall when Prescott grabbed it by the tail and started pulling on it gently, not wanting to hurt it, Bae said.

After 10 minutes he pulled the snake out and put it into a plastic bag.

The police were called at 10:30 p.m., and an inspector from the state Department of Agriculture's Plant Quarantine Branch picked up the snake at the Kahuku police station, said Lisa Nakayama, land vertebrate specialist.

A second snake was turned in Aug. 12 to the Plant Quarantine Branch under the state's amnesty program, she said. It was a 4-foot ball python, also nonpoisonous, Nakayama said.

The man who turned it in said it was a family pet, she said.

She had no other details to offer since no questions are asked under the amnesty program, which provides immunity from prosecution as long as no investigation has begun on the subject.

Drop-off points for illegal animals are the plant quarantine office at Honolulu Airport, the Honolulu Zoo, the Hawaiian Humane Society and the new quarantine office on 1849 Auiki St. off Sand Island Access Road, Nakayama said.

People possessing illegal animals are subject to fines of up to $200,000 and up to three years in jail. Anyone with information of illegal animals can call the pest hot line at 586-7378.

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