HONOLULU (AP) — A snake stowed away in a man's bag and remained undetected until it completed the trip from Florida to Hawaii.

Hawaii's Department of Agriculture said the snake slithered out of the Virginia man's backpack at a Maui vacation rental in Pukalani. The owner of the rental told the man and others staying there that snakes are illegal in Hawaii.

The snake is a small southern black racer, common in Florida. The non-venomous snake was about 3 feet long and a quarter-inch in diameter.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the 20-year-old Virginia man was not aware of the animal until it emerged after he arrived at the vacation rental property.

The property owner alerted police, who captured the snake with state Department of Land and Natural Resources personnel.

The man says he did not intentionally bring the racer snake when he traveled from Florida.

The DLNR said snakes have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a serious threat to the state's natural environment, especially to native birds.

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