MAIDSTONE, Vt. (AP) — A Connecticut man facing wildlife violations for bringing eastern hognose snakes to Vermont says he didn't realize the snakes were not native to the state.
The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife said earlier this week that 42-year-old David Buyak was facing fines of up to $722 after a dozen non-native hognose snakes were found at his property in Maidstone, a rural town in northeastern Vermont.
The department says the eastern hognose snakes don't harm people, but have rear fangs and venom that can be lethal to amphibians.
Buyak told game wardens the snakes he had in Vermont were offspring of a pair he captured in Connecticut. The snakes were sent to a Massachusetts group that cares for reptiles.
Buyak says he hopes to get the fines against him reduced.