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Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – A 20-year-old Virginia man was startled to find out that a snake had apparently hitchhiked a ride in his backpack when he flew from Fort Lauderdale to a Hawaii vacation spot.

The small, non-venomous southern black racer slithered out when the man was unpacking at his vacation rental in Maui Monday night, Hawaii News Now reported.

After the resort owner contacted state agricultural workers, the visitor told authorities that he didn’t intentionally bring the snake to the islands from Florida where it is a common species.

The chair of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture told Hawaii News Now that exotic creatures are a threat to the state’s unique environment and that the snake, which measured about 1 foot long, was being taken to Oahu for safe handling.

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