LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — Federal authorities in Hawaii are searching for a man caught on video attacking an endangered monk seal at a beach.
KHON-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1VE1Fdk ) that Kauai County police responded Tuesday to a report of the man attacking the well-known, pregnant seal while she was trying to rest in the water. Officials identified the seal as RK-30, who is easily identifiable by scars from shark bites, boat propellers and a neck entanglement.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said police are investigating the incident that was captured on video and shared on social media. In the dark video made around sunset, a man is shown wading into the water, swinging at the seal and possibly throwing sand at the endangered animal. It’s unclear from the video if the man had a weapon. NOAA said the seal, believed to be about 17 years old, had no apparent injuries from the attack.
Monk seals are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Anyone caught harming a monk seal can be fined up to $50,000 and ordered to serve up to one year in prison.
Police did not immediately return a call seeking information about a suspect or possible arrests.
Information from: KHON-TV, http://khon.com