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Snake identified as Pacific Boa

MYSTERY NO MORE: The snake found in Fa’atoia is a harmless Pacifi c Boa. [Samoa Observer]

Villagers in Fa’atoia, Samoa can rest easy.

With information provided by the Division of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the snake found there recently, has been identified as a Pacific Boa (Scientific Name: Candoia Bibroni).

Surveys have been conducted for the past three weeks by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) team within the village where the snake was found.

At the moment, officers are working on analyzing the data and then submitting their findings in a report.

The Pacific Boa is a common snake in Samoa and not known to be dangerous, and is in fact rather helpful.

Toilolo Niualuga of the DEC sector says the snake is useful protecting fruit. It feeds on rats that may affect crops.

“If you come across this type of snake, it is not dangerous. It does not attack people. Their behaviour is such they are afraid of people rather than wanting to attack them. Usually when people see it, they kill it. Others keep them as pets to protect their fruit trees from rats.”

The Pacific Boa is usually shy and rarely runs away when attacked however; they are well adapted to evade enemies owing to their dull color, which allows them to merge with their natural habitat.

It lives in humid environments to escape heat. It also lives along riverbanks. Since it feeds on frogs, it dives in water often to attack frogs under water. One will also find them on dry soil and beneath vegetation.

The Pacific Boa that was found in Fa’atoia was identified as a female and was carrying 18 eggs.

Once it was in the hands of the MNRE, it was then killed as they felt it would not survive if sent back into the wild as planned.

“We were going to throw it back into the wild, but found cuts along the stomach and its tail so we figured it would die out there. We then decided to kill and dissect the snake to determine its gender.”



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