Import of Snakes to Hawaii? 1902.

Snakes are Allowed to be Imported to Hawaii.


It was thoroughly believed that a person or persons could not bring in snakes from foreign lands into Hawaii, but the head custom inspector received a letter telling him that there is no law prohibiting the import of this type of animal into Hawaii, and should it be brought in by a person or persons, he has not right to prevent the bringing of it ashore.

It is right for us to oppose this with what power we have. There are many pests currently brought into Hawaii, and we do not want to bring in others. Before the arrival to Hawaii nei, there were no mosquitoes here, and they could be up at night without their hands tiring out from constantly waving them off. That isn’t all, there is the mongoose that are eating chicks, and eggs, and we hear that a baby left somewhere by its mother while she was washing clothes, died because it was got by a mongoose which sucked all of its blood. There are also mynah birds, fleas, and many, many other pests brought into Hawaii after the arrival of the enlightened races into Hawaii, and here is another thing that is wanted to be open to a person or persons to bring into Hawaii.

If these snakes come into Hawaii nei, and they spread in the forests, we will not be able to let our children go out to those places without facing calamity. Not just the children, but animals will be in danger of being bit by these snakes. If the snakes are allowed, the time will perhaps come when lions and tigers will be imported, and we will be just like most of the lands of the world.

We want the beautiful things of the other lands, but the problems are what we don’t want. If they import beneficial things, we will happily take them let them free in our verdant fields of Hawaii nei for them to run about; however, if they are to bring in pests, we will stand and exterminate them when they step within the borders of this Territory.

[That was a close one! But lately, with all the budget cuts and the resulting lack of inspectors doing inspections, who knows what is being brought into Hawaii nei. Some things are too important to let fall to the side…]

(Kuokoa, 4/11/1902, p. 1)

Ua hiki ke hookomo ia mai na Moo.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XL, Helu 15, Aoao 1. Aperila 11, 1902.

4 thoughts on “Import of Snakes to Hawaii? 1902.

  1. I have to admit I like the facetious reference to “enlightened” races. I’d been wondering how early the mynah was introduced, too. Mahalo.

  2. Pingback: We still haven’t learned today what they knew a hundred years ago? « nupepa

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  4. The Honolulu physician and botanist William Hillebrand, known for his devotion toward introducing non-native trees and other plants to Hawaii, brought Common Mynas to Honolulu after a trip to China, Calcutta, and Java, arriving in Honolulu in Jun or Jul 1866 (not 1865 as often quoted). Along with a cargo full of plants Hillebrand returned with “carrion crows, gold finches, Japanese finches, mynah birds, Chinese quail, ricebirds, Indian sparrows; golden, silver and Mongolian pheasants; and [two] deer from China and Java” (Meier 2005:37).

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