Part of our Tropical Trivia About Hawaii and its Unique Culture series.
Those creatures are called mongoose. They were brought to the Hawaiian islands in the late 1800’s to the sugar mills in hopes that the carnivores would eat the rats that were destroying the cane.
The islands have no natural predators for the mongoose. Because of this, they prospered and did damage to the native ground bird population. They almost drove the Hawaiian Nene to extinction.
After populating the islands it was discovered that rats were nocturnal and mongoose were diurnal or up during the day.
At one time, when it was realized what a mistake it was to bring over the mongoose, there was a bounty of 10 cents for each mongoose head.
Today the mongoose is considered an invasive species.