facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Monk seals beaten to death in Hawaii

Jan. 7, 2012 at 8:37 PM   |   Comments

HONOLULU, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Authorities in Hawaii say they are looking for whoever has beaten four monk seals to death in less than three months.

Honolulu's KITV-TV reported Wednesday a fisherman found the latest seal carcass Monday in Pila on the northeast coast of Kauai.

State officials said its head wounds were similar to those found on three monk seals found dead on Molokai's west side in previous weeks.

"They're dying because their skulls are being smashed. So for me, that is alarming," community activist Walter Ritte told the TV station. "That's setting a dangerous trend."

Ritte said he suspects misinformed young fishermen or hunters may be to blame for the seals' deaths.

State land director William Aila also expressed the need to find those responsible and "stop this trend."

There are about 1,100 monk seals living in the northwest Hawaiian Islands where officials say their population is declining at a rate of about 4 percent a year, though their numbers are growing in the main Hawaiian islands.

Under state law, harming or killing monk seals is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Oregon girl dies at beach after sand pit collapse
2
Ukraine warns of "full-scale war"
3
Israel claims West Bank acreage for development
4
Germany to send arms to Kurds
5
Malaysia Airlines cuts fares after disasters
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback