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 Snaks in Puna ???? yep

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Tom Lackey Posted - 12/27/2008 : 09:57:54
A very interesting situation happened to me the day after Xmas. One of my neighbor friends [yes, I do have neighbor friends] came thru my back yard to visit and Toast [my devoted dog] announced his visit. He informed me that he just saw a snake slither away from him. I asked, “are you sure?” He said, “hey Lack I lived in Florida for years and I recognize what a snake looks like, it was a brown snake.” He told me that it was coiled up and when he approached it the snake slithered off thru a loose rock wall behind my house. We did what I think any responsible citizen would do and called the police. They said, what ever you do don’t touch it, we’ll have someone out to take a look. Then the operator said that she informed DLNR and they will handle it. DLNR passed it off to the Ag people and we got two calls from them. This all happened within ten minutes

My neighbor and I though Wow, these people are really taking some decisive action here. The Ag guy wanted to babble with my neighbor on the phone and after quizzing him about his ability to recognizing a snake they derivably determined to come to my house and investigate. When these guys showed they were prepared for big game. One was wearing thick rubber boots and heavy leather gloves. Both had snake grabber sticks and an array of snake things to catch a snake. Also within their arsenal they had a video camera. This was too much fun for me so I went into the house and got my camera and documented it all. I informed the Ag guys that I had shot a couple of rats in the last few days and if they wanted when they located the snake I would be glad to dispatch it to a better life. They just laughed and said “stand by with that”

While the four of us were trying to locate the snake, them in snake gear and us in shorts and flip flops my neighbor asked,” if it was a poisonous snake and any of us got bit do they have any anti venom on the island?” There response was “not a drop” it has a short shelf life and they don’t get any snake bites in Hawaii. So I said, ‘so then why all the snake gear if we don’t get snake bites?”

The snake hunt went on for about a hour and the two Ag guys would confer with each other and at one point we heard them say, “ there is a lot of activity here,” when poking thru some dead leafs I asked if they had some snake traps that they could set out and they said, “we have some in Honolulu but none here.”

The snake was about 1 ½ feet long and about 1 ½ inch in diameter, brown in color. It very possibility could be a brown tree snake from areas like Guam and very dangerous. As the Ag guy said, “it most likely is a baby snake and not a big threat.” What I said? Baby snakes come from big mama snakes and we could have a bunch of them here. They laughed and left me their number and said to call if I spotted it again. The Hunt was over and the snake is at large behind my house. I don’t care how many people call the police if I see the snake I’m going to blow it’s head clean off

With the great food source here in Puna we may have a new invasive foe. The Brown Tree Snake.

The Lack
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Damon Posted - 12/30/2008 : 00:02:14
Lack... expect a call from KGMB possibly in the next 48 hours

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ef9 Posted - 12/29/2008 : 19:32:36

Originally posted by Damon

I heard snakes like Christmas lights and sequencing music.

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Tom Lackey Posted - 12/29/2008 : 07:44:14

Snake spotted in Hawaiian Beaches, three blocks up from the water.

Snakes like the sound of boom box bass speakers found in teenager's cars. They can't hear but they can feel the vibration of the bass and are attracted to it. Many have been found in snake country coiled up in the trunks of cars around the bass speakers. Hey, we may be on to something here.

The Lack
Damon Posted - 12/28/2008 : 23:58:20

I heard snakes like Christmas lights and sequencing music.

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ef9 Posted - 12/28/2008 : 23:33:09
What subdivision was the snake spotted?
John S. Rabi Posted - 12/28/2008 : 16:36:16
I think te biggest problem is that these snakes are worst than rabbits with their sex lives!

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Damon Posted - 12/28/2008 : 11:06:54
Pictures are now on my blog here.

Thanks Lack... Hope you find the snak.

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Damon Posted - 12/28/2008 : 10:19:32
Send me pics of the snake hunt and I'll post em on my blog!

This will make one hell of a story for me !!!


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Tom Lackey Posted - 12/28/2008 : 09:56:00

I did telephone the police and they called the rest of the people involved. It seems that because they {Ag department} did not catch or site the snake it’s a done deal. You can call whoever you would like, and like I said I have pic’s of the guys with their gear looking, but no pic’s of the snake. That snake is still out there and I for one believe that it has friends. As the old saying goes “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” One would think that with a sighting of a snake in the neighborhood even though it is unconfirmed that someone would alert all of my neighbors to be on the look out. Guess that I have to go to my chicken raising neighbors and pass that information on.

The Lack
LeeE Posted - 12/28/2008 : 07:56:45
Throw another snake on the barby!
AlohaSteven Posted - 12/27/2008 : 23:52:11

As LeeE observed-

Rattlesnake's pretty darned tasty. Not sure about brown tree snakes.

Yep, I have eaten rattlesnake many times (grew up around them) and they are actually quite good; from the look of the brown tree snake, though, I wonder if those skinny invasive horrors would do for anything but soup. Not very meaty looking.

A caution about handling and eating rattlesnake or brown tree snake: please be sure to scrub after handling such critters (using gloves is advised, but scrub, too, even so) and please be especially sure to cook the meat thoroughly.

Rattlesnakes and other reptiles are vectors which can transmit an ancient type of parasitic worm to humans. Pentastomids are a sort of taxonomic oddity and living fossil of sorts ...but quite alive and well in the lung of rattlesnakes and other reptiles. Pentastomid worms were probably originally parasites in the lungs of dinosaurs and have perpetuated forward 'til today in the lung of snakes. [Yes, lung, singular; not a typo: snakes start out with two lungs in their embryological development but in most species the fully functional right lung enlarges and fills much of the body cavity while the left lung dwindles away to a vestigial bleb or is altogether absent in the adult.] If a human ingests pentastomid eggs or larvae (as via eating an inadequately cooked adult worm or contaminated snake flesh, or even just chewing on a fingernail or pencil for a second after touching a contaminated item) then pentastomids can go looking for a home inside the human host. Problems can ensue as they encyst in various places throughout the body or mature into vermiform instars and adults inside the eye or other inopportune spots within the human host.

If I remember correctly then rodents are the intermediate hosts pentastomid larvae are evolutionarily targeted toward. Strange-acting rats have recently been mentioned in another Punaweb discussion, connected with potential predation on giant African snail (the big "semi-slug" snails are known vectors for rat lungworm -a nematode- and leptspirosis -a bacterium- both of which also cause disease in humans as well). I wonder if any of those sick rats have ever been checked for pentastomid larave? If pentastomid larvae are detected inside sick rats then this would be a big smoking gun (more like a smoking Howitzer) indicating some type of reptile passing the larvae to the rats... and I'd guess those reptiles would likely turn out to be snakes rather than geckos.

Here is a good look at the business end of a pentastomid worm; scroll downscreen for really sexy whole-naked-body centerfold shots at
...plus a few words in technical jargon about pentastomids in rattlesnakes and humans at

Bottom line: Bon appétit with snake meat or other bush meat including feral jungle pig --especially in time of duress and deprivation such as extreme poverty or war; protein malnutrition can permanently stunt the brain of a developing fetus, baby, or infant-- but please be sure to thoroughly cook the flesh lest infective parasites be coming in with the meal and causing real problems later. Better, by far, to stew some rats and snakes than to not if that is what it takes to get protein to your developing fetus, baby, or infant; thorough cooking does kill all parasites. "Thorough cooking" means frying in boiling oil or stewing at boiling for a minimum of 10 minutes; 30 minutes at boiling is preferable. Microwave ovens cannot be totally trusted to cook all areas evenly, especially close to a bone, unless the meat is damn-near nuked to a crisp.

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"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

Pres. John Adams, Scholar and Statesman

"There's a scientific reason to be concerned and there's a scientific reason to push for action. But there's no scientific reason to despair."

NASA climate analyst Gavin Schmidt

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MarkP Posted - 12/27/2008 : 19:19:53
First paragraph, 7th sentence.
Damon Posted - 12/27/2008 : 19:15:50
Lack -

Did you take your medicine today?

Why would you report something like this to PW and not the POLICE or Dept. of AG?

I've heard of nothing yet of this incident besides here on PW.

Have you reported it to higher authorities... or would you like me to???

You think you have invasion of privacy now??? Wait till I call in the Gov. and let them know their might be a Snak running around your property. Load your guns now brah.

Rats, Chickens I can handle.... Snaks... I'm calling in the FEDS.

p.s. snaks are my favorite!

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MarkP Posted - 12/27/2008 : 19:07:42
Brown tree snakes would be the worst kind of snake to have here. It's not because they are so poisonous; they aren't. They are just such survivors. They are prolific and aggressive and generalists. They can subsist on small fare. I hope the snake sighted was a boa or something similar. The reported diameter does not match a brown tree snake at all. Brown tree snakes are very skinny. One that big around would be like 6 feet long. They are edible but not meaty enough to make it worth while.
n/a Posted - 12/27/2008 : 18:52:07
LOL, Jay.
gtill, I hope I didn't sound like I was pro snake, to make you say

>>>And it's ok too, because their poison won't kill an adult! Children should be inside studying anyway!

I was just curious whether they're venomous after Tom's discussion.
Apparently these snakes are aggressive biters. I don't want them here!

Most of you probably know why this snake's arrival is so feared, but for those who don't -- the birds of Hawai'i are not adapted to avoid predators that can climb trees. This brown snake, which came to Guam from New Guinea, has wiped out its bird population, and could do the same here. Can you imagine a Hawai'i without bird song?

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