Published On: Sat, Jul 31st, 2021

Tourists Fined $500 for Touching Hawaiian Monk Seals

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HONOLULU—A woman from Louisiana who was honeymooning in Hawaii has been fined $500 after a social media video showed her touching an endangered Hawaiian monk seal, U.S. authorities said. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched an investigation last month and found the woman violated the Endangered Species Act, said Dominic Andrews, a spokesperson for the agency’s Office of Law Enforcement. A video posted on social media showed a woman touching the seal at a Kauai beach in June. The video showed her running away after the seal snapped at her, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday. The Associated Press wasn’t immediately able to reach the couple. The couple previously apologized and told the Star-Advertiser earlier this month that they love Hawaii and didn’t mean to offend anyone. There are an estimated 1,100 Hawaiian monk seals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and 300 in the main Hawaiian Islands. Under state and …

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