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Large Snake Causes Stir On Social Media

Large Snake Causes Stir On Social Media
The snake identified as a Pacific Boa Constrictor which was found in Lovoni forest on Ovalau. Photo: Facebook
January 06
11:09 2018

One of the largest Pacific Boa Constrictor snakes (Gata Loa) in Fiji has been found in the Lovoni forest, Ovalau.

This was confirmed by the Tui Wailevu Lovoni, Petero Rogoyawa.

“A young boy found the snake and put it on a tree branch. He took the pictures and showed it to the villagers. He left the snake alive and didn’t kill it as it was harmless,” Mr Rogoyawa said.

“This is not the first time a snake this size has been found. The people are not afraid of them.”

Pictures of the snake went viral on Facebook.

Biosecurity Authority of Fiji says it is rare to see one of that size.

It confirmed that it was a Pacific Boa and was a harmless species native to Fiji.

It said: “As suspected – the snake in the picture is the Pacific Boa (scientific name: Candoia bibroni). It is a harmless species native to Fiji – other Candoia bibroni species are found elsewhere in the Pacific (PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, etc.).

“The Fijian Pacific Boa is non-venomous (not poisonous) and no cases have been reported of them harming human beings.

“It is rare to see one of that length – perhaps the lack of disturbance from human dwellings, native vegetation and availability of food has helped that particular snake in the picture to grow to that size in Ovalau. They usually feed on lizards, rats, small birds and their eggs.

“We (BAF) usually receive pictures of the Pacific Boa from other parts of Fiji – but those snakes are much smaller in size. My guess is they are more commonly found in Ovalau then anywhere else in Fiji.

“Some people even keep them as pets (right here in Fiji!).”

 Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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