Couple faces heat after touching endangered Hawaiian monk seal

Couple faces heat after touching endangered Hawaiian monk seal

A couple from Louisiana, honeymooning in Hawaii, was seen touching an endangered monk seal in a now viral video on social media. The video raised eyebrows as the U.S. authorities launched an investigation. The couple has now gone on record to say that they are deeply sorry, and that they love Hawaiian culture. They said that it was not their intention to offend anyone.

The video posted on social media platforms shows the woman touching the monk seal at Hawaii’s Kaua’i beach. The incident actually took place in the month of June. The seal then reacted to her by raising its head and snapping at her. The woman was then seen running away from the endangered animal. Hawaii’s Northwestern islands have about 1100 Hawaiian monk seals, while the main islands have about 300 of them.

Hawaii’s Governor, David Ige took to Twitter and wrote about the incident, “I want to be clear that this behavior is absolutely unacceptable. Visitors to our islands — you’re asked to respect our people, culture, and laws protecting endangered species that are found nowhere else in the world.”

He further said that anybody disturbing or touching seals will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

With only about 1400 of them in the wild, the Hawaiian monk seals are endangered species. They are known to become distressed very easily when approached by humans, and hence it is best not to touch them or disturb them. It is worse for monk seal mothers and their babies who can get separated if they get stressed due to human interference.

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