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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
Number of posts: 45,231

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Alabama man fined for touching endangered Hawaiian monk seal

An Alabama man was fined $1,500 for touching a Hawaiian monk seal as well as harassing a sea turtle on Kauai, and then posting the videos on social media.
The Alabama man, in the video posted on Instagram with the hashtag #monkseals, walks up to a sleeping monk seal on Poipu Beach at night, and strokes it with his hand. The startled seal quickly turns toward him, and he runs away.Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species. They are protected by both state and federal laws, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials, while investigating the man's Instagram account, also found a video of him aggressively pursuing a sea turtle while snorkeling at Poipu.

All species of sea turtles in U.S. waters are listed as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, according to NOAA.



I'm always horrified by the behavior of tourists when I am in Hawaii. The way they pursue sea turtles is abhorrent. It chases them away from feeding grounds and nesting areas. Same thing with the rare monk seals. I finally saw a monk seal sleeping on the sand in Kauai this spring, even though I have been going to Kauai for years. I can't imagine disturbing such an endangered creature from its much-needed rest.

James Corden gives us the news we've all been praying for!

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