Alabama man fined for harassing monk seal at Hawaii beach

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An Alabama man was fined $1,500 on Friday for harassing a monk seal and a sea turtle at a Hawaiian beach in Kauai. After approaching the sleeping Hawaiian monk seal, the tourist posted a video to his Instagram account that showed him stroking the endangered animal.

According to the StarAdvertiser, there are prominent yellow signs along the beaches warning everyone not to approach the wild life. The Hawaiian monk seals are “one of the most endangered marine animals in the world.” They are often seen snoozing on the white beaches, and as adorable as they may look, the seals can act unpredictably.

The man’s photos and video included the hashtag #monkseals along with the text, “I touched a seal.” The video showed him sneaking up to the sleeping seal and petting it on its head. Startled, the seal turned towards the man and quickly ran away. As if that encounter wasn’t enough, another video showed the same man “aggressively pursued a sea turtle for an extended period” while snorkeling.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration investigated the report, which occurred on the beach last year after the posts and videos appeared on the man’s Instagram account. There are only 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals left in the world.

“Violations are usually the result of things like tourists wanting to get a good, close picture with a seal or a thrill seeker trying to get a rush,” stated Adam Kurtz, a NOAA Fisheries wildlife management coordinator. “But it’s really frustrating when you see people harass these animals.”

People and their forced selfies; it gets discouraging.

Get more news by reading the National Pet Rescue here.

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3 replies
  1. Adrienne says:

    These stupid tourists should be put into cages themselves to be touched and gawked at to see how these animals feel.Should have steep fines for doing what this idiot did.

  2. ACE says:

    While I agree that the man was at fault, it seems ridiculous to me that blatant acts of animal cruelty go unpunished and this man, while apparently stupid, but meaning no harm to the animals, gets a good fine. I am not saying his fine is wrong but am angry that the real animal cruelty crimes so often go unpunished.


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