LIHUE, Hawaii — A boa constrictor that is illegal to own as a pet in Hawaii has been found dead in a nature preserve in Kauai that is home to endangered native birds.
An intern at the Limahuli Garden and Preserve came across the 5-foot-long (1.5-meter-long) dead snake Friday during her morning jog, The Garden Island newspaper reported Monday (http://bit.ly/2ti6VJa ).
Inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture picked it up and took it to Honolulu, where a zoologist at the Bishop Museum will examine it.
State and Limahuli preserve officials said they are concerned that the boa constrictor was found near endangered birds and other native species.
It was not immediately clear how the snake died, according to a Department of Agriculture press release.
People caught in Hawaii with snakes as pets can face fines of up to $200,000 or three years in prison. They have no natural predators in the state and pose a serious threat to its environment.
Boa constrictors are not poisonous and are native to Central and South America. They can grow up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) long and eat small mammals, such as mice and rats.