The Department of Land and Natural Resources in Honolulu Hawaii recently received an anonymous tip directly involving a beach-going couple participating in “irresponsible activity” around a sleeping monk seal.
Since monk seals are considered one of the most endangered marine species, DLNR is using this opportunity to bring more awareness on how to observe these animals.
The anonymous tip, provided through the tip411 customizable platform, included multiple images of a couple who were dangerously close to the sleeping animal taking photos. Not only were the couple involved in a dangerous activity, but they also had a dog off leash providing another violation.
Although this couple has not been identified, similar violations have been cited for others participating in similar activity in the past.
“Regrettably we did not have an officer in the area, but we wanted to release the tipster’s photographs to illustrate this irresponsible behavior,” DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla said.
“Monk seal pupping on beaches like Kaimana in Waikīkī, illustrate the protection and care that DLNR, NOAA, and other partners institute to protect seals. They are critically endangered and have the highest levels of protection available.”
DLNR officials added they hope people become educated on safe viewing rules and guidelines.
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