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.
Positive news: Chubby cat who stole the heart of the nation has found a new home – read more here!
Border collie gets so excited watching herself on TV – watch the adorable video here.
Puppy reunited with mom – watch the heartwarming video here.