A stowaway snake was found in a man’s bag after he completed a trip from Florida to Hawaii.
The 20-year-old Virginia man was not aware of the animal until it slithered out of his backpack after he arrived at a holiday rental property in Pukalani, on the island of Maui, the US Department of Agriculture said.
The non-venomous southern black racer snake measured around a foot long and a quarter-inch in diameter, according to officials.
The property owner told the visitor that snakes were illegal in Hawaii as they had no natural predators and posed a threat to native species. He alerted police, who captured the reptile with help from the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Officials added that the snake was expected to be transferred to Oahu.
Owning or knowingly transporting illegal pets in Hawaii is punishable by a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.