A live raccoon was captured aboard a Matson cargo ship on Monday, Dec. 31, after the ship arrived from Long Beach, Calif., according to the state Department of Agriculture.
Matson personnel called the Department of Agriculture Monday afternoon after seeing a raccoon scampering on the deck of the ship.
Plant quarantine inspectors were dispatched with traps and, with the assistance of Matson personnel, were able to lure the raccoon into a trap with food.
The adult female raccoon weighed about 15 pounds. Rabies tests were being sent to a Mainland laboratory Wednesday.
Raccoons are native to North America. They are omnivorous and their diets consists of plants, insects, birds, bird eggs, fish and small mammals. Raccoons can carry rabies and other diseases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, 48 states and Puerto Rico reported 6,154 cases of rabies in animals and two human cases. Hawaii is the only rabies-free state.
Wild animals account for 92 percent of reported cases of rabies in 2010. In the United States, raccoons continue to be the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species with 2,246 cases, which is more than 36 percent of all animal cases during 2010, with most cases occurring along the East Coast.
For more information on rabies, go to the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html.