HAWAII - A man traveling from Florida to Hawaii found a slithery surprise in his bag. 🐍
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said a snake stowed away in the 20-year-old Virginia man's bag and remained undetected until it completed the trip from Florida to Hawaii.
The nonvenomous southern black racer snake, mainly found in Florida and the eastern half of the U.S., slithered out of the man's backpack when he arrived in Maui Monday, according to the USDA.
Officials said the man was not aware of the snake until it emerged at a vacation rental property.
“The brown-colored snake appears to be a newborn, measuring about a foot long and 1/4 inch in diameter,” USDA officials said.
The rental property owner alerted authorities, who along with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources personnel captured the snake, officials said.
“It is fortunate that the owner of the rental was aware of the seriousness of the snake being transported to Hawaii and took appropriate action and reported it,” Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser with the Hawaii Board of Agriculture said. “Visitors to our islands may not fully understand the threat that snakes pose to our community and our unique environment.”
Southern black racer snakes grow up to six feet in length. Their diet consists of mainly frogs, lizards, snakes, rodents, birds and their eggs.
USDA officials said the snake was delivered to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture Tuesday and will be transported to Honolulu.
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