DOA News release on raccoon captured

Posted on Mar 29, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – A raccoon was captured today in a shipping container of household goods and furniture. Yesterday, moving crews spotted the raccoon as they were unloading the container at a residence in Iroquois Point, O‘ahu. The movers immediately closed the container and contacted the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Plant Quarantine Branch. Agricultural inspectors were dispatched to the moving company where the truck was transported to and set several traps in the container overnight. When inspectors checked the container this morning, the raccoon was in one of the traps but was already deceased. A HDOA veterinarian said the raccoon is a young female and is being tested for rabies.

Transportation records show that the container came from Maryland via California and arrived at  Honolulu Harbor on March 19th. The container had not been opened in transit to Hawai‘i.

Raccoons are native to North America. They are omnivorous and their diets consists of plants, insects, birds, bird eggs, fish and small mammals. Raccoons may also carry rabies and other diseases. Hawai‘i is the only state in the U.S. and one of the few areas in the world that is rabies-free.

According to a 2018 rabies surveillance report by the American Veterinary Medical Association, there were about 5,000 reported cases of rabies in wild animals in the U.S. Raccoons accounted for about 30 percent of wild animal cases, second to bats at 33 percent. The full report may be found at:

For more information on rabies, go to the CDC website at:

Sightings or captures of illegal and invasive species should be immediately reported to the state’s toll-free Pest Hotline at (808) 643-PEST (7378).


Attachment: photo of raccoon in trap – credit Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture

Media Contact:

Janelle Saneishi, Public Information Officer

Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture

(808) 973-9560

[email protected]