Welcome!
    |
    ||
    Logout|My Dashboard
  • Subscribe

Foul play suspected in latest monk seal death

Another reward posted in fourth suspicious death in six months

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:45 am

Foul play is again suspected in the second death of a Hawaiian monk seal found on Kaua‘i this year, with the latest victim discovered Sunday, authorities said Wednesday.

“On Monday, we did a necropsy, an animal autopsy,” said Jeff Walters, Hawaiian monk seal coordinator and Marine Mammals Branch Chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The results of the necropsy led us to believe we could not rule out foul play or some intentional act by a human. I don’t want to give specifics because law enforcement says details might be important in their investigation,” Walters said by telephone.

The body of the 3-year-old male monk seal tagged RA 16 was discovered on a rocky part of the island’s northeastern shore by members of the public who notified lifeguards, Walters said.

State and federal authorities are investigating, he said, since it is against state and federal laws to harm or kill a monk seal.

Sunday’s discovery marked the fourth monk seal discovered dead under suspicious circumstances in Hawai‘i in the past six months.

“Unfortunately, we’re at a point where there have been several recent suspicious deaths where we can’t rule out foul play, where they may be evidence of an intentional act by a person,” Walter said.

He cited the death of another young male monk seal, age 2 or 3, found on Kaua‘i in January.

This death was followed by two earlier “suspicious” deaths of monk seals on Moloka‘i — one last November and one last December. A third death on Moloka‘i reported in December 2011 was first believed suspicious, but foul play was ruled out following a necropsy.

Until December 2011, he said no suspicious deaths had been reported since December 2009, when a male monk seal was discovered dead of a gunshot wound on Moloka‘i. In April 2009, a pregnant female monk seal was fatally shot on Kaua‘i, “so we lost a mother seal and the pup,” Walters said.

Three groups Wednesday posted another $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the latest monk seal death, bringing to $40,000 the amount available related to all four recent monk seal deaths.

The rewards were posted by the Humane Society of the United States and its Wildlife Land Trust, the Conservation Council for Hawai‘i and the Center for Biological Diversity, with earlier contributions from the Marine Conservation Institute and an anonymous donor.

Walters said monk seals are identified by natural markings such as “little scars from cookie cutter shark bites or other incidents” or by tags placed on their hind flippers. The monk seal found Sunday had been tagged RA 16, he said.

“The seals move from island to island. On any given day, there will be as many as 30 monk seals around Kaua‘i. Not all will be on the beach, but every day you’ll have several seals up there,” Walters said.

Local, state and federal authorities work with volunteers on Kaua‘i to ensure that monk seals found on land are protected by ropes erected to keep crowds away.

Residents and visitors are urged to call authorities if they see a monk seal on shore.

The monk seals often do not make many or any movements when they are spotted lying on a beach.

“It’s hard to tell if they’re sleeping or if they’re sick or dead, but we ask people to call it in, no matter what,” Walters said.

The Kaua‘i hotline is 651-7668, he said. Monk seal spotters can also call a statewide toll-free hotline at 888-256-9840.

“I just hope these kinds of incidents don’t polarize our community,” Walters said.

“We do have people who love seals, and we also have people who are concerned that seals are impacting their livelihood. There might be potential conflicts between marine wildlife and their life as fishermen or ocean users,” he said. “We want to all peacefully coexist.”

© 2015 Thegardenisland.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

24 comments:

  • kauaibuilt posted at 4:23 pm on Mon, Apr 30, 2012.

    kauaibuilt Posts: 49

    @KauaiKanaka
    The majority of them may be found in the NWHI but the main Hawaiian islands are apart of the chain too, which of course doesn't limit their habitat to the NWHI alone. And to argue that they should stay in the NWHI is like saying the Kanaka Maoli should go back and stay in Tahiti. They may not be Aumakua but they are a vital part of the ecosystem in Hawaii, which in turn could damage every part of the sea life in general. This you must understand. And nowadays there is alot of overfishing and you wonder why they are such "thiefs." You make their food source scarce and they're going to do whatever it takes to survive. That is another reason why more of them are being attacked by sharks. Less fish to eat! And to say they have been in the NWHI for eternity is simply contradicting yourself because you talk about ancient Hawaiian accounts from whom most lived in the MAIN Hawaiian Isles.

     
  • KauaiKanaka posted at 11:46 am on Mon, Apr 30, 2012.

    KauaiKanaka Posts: 32

    I have read a lot of your comments and there are a lot of good ones.Sticking to simple facts would be cool.Especially if you experienced it first hand like this.You can't put Kapu on the seals at all.Unlike man,we can control what we take.Seals on the other hand will eat tons as they please.I have had 1st hand experience with them trying to take my HAND GRABBED lobsters through my bag,and fight me for it.I have seen them take fish right off a spear.Another fact... In the Hawaiians past they have been documented to be like the Iole(rat), looked at as a thief, for stealing food like the rat.They were not 'Aumakua for Kanaka,as if Rats were.Lol.They have been living on the NWHI for all eternity, why bring them here now?Its almost crazy to blame anyone but the lazy Biologists that don't want to study them in their natural habitat(NWHI). Maybe they just want to be near civilization when studying these animals.Who knows? Extinction happens to a lot of things.Sorry,move them back home 2 NWHI.

     
  • albino posted at 5:51 pm on Sun, Apr 29, 2012.

    albino Posts: 81

    Anyone else think that maybe it just died? Things die ya know. could be natural causes

     
  • kapaaa posted at 5:54 am on Fri, Apr 27, 2012.

    kapaaa Posts: 41

    [quote]Puhi University said: "From an evolutionary standpoint, the Hawaiian monk seal sucks. Just like Kauai's other endangered resident, the Newell's Shearwater, that can't fly if it's life depended on it, this thing is just embarrassing."[/quote]

    Not nearly so embarrassing as a totally ignorant human being like you. When they aren't sitting on a nest, Newell's fly thousands of miles at sea. They fly amazingly well.

     
  • bjduks posted at 5:32 am on Fri, Apr 27, 2012.

    bjduks Posts: 1254

    Unborn babies are also unarmed!
    seals are like the chickens,A nusance is all!

     
  • iuli posted at 3:21 am on Fri, Apr 27, 2012.

    iuli Posts: 102

    It should be called un-planned parenthood and it has nothing to do with the slaughter of seals on this island. It is the act of a total coward to kill a defenseless animal. Sub humans of this sort go on to kill other animals including humans. It is time to stop messing about and catch this (or these) criminals. Truly not a joking matter.

     
  • bjduks posted at 6:31 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    bjduks Posts: 1254

    What are the stinking seals compared to the unwanted unborn babies killed daily in the name of abortion? Why do u think its called planned parenthood?

     
  • onegeaeme posted at 5:32 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    onegeaeme Posts: 5792

    kauaibuilt said: "There are only three monk seals in the world. The Mediterranean, Caribbean, and the Hawaiian. There are less than 600 Mediterranean monk seals left and the Caribbean monk seal was declared extinct in 2008. There are less than 1200 Hawaiian monk seals left. Just a little info for you all. Stop arguing "politricks" already. "

    No politricks. This is brilliant. Thank you KAUAIBUILT...

    Beautiful, wonderful. rainy day partY at my house GARDEN ART will make you happy. I share it with you.

    bettejo is easy to find

    Everyone welcome.

    Peace and love Bettejo Dux

     
  • paystatus posted at 4:34 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    paystatus Posts: 148

    tasts like chicken;

    with gas at $5.00, no work, no tourists to bleed money from, the out law of vacaction rentals; mad Mother Nature; Young Brothers shipping raising prices of EVERYTHING shipped here; crooked police and politicians; becoming ever more dependend on the government, as long as we even have a rich 1% or 2% or geeez even 10% to draw from......

    i am surprised the seal was not killed for food;

     
  • kauaibuilt posted at 3:47 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    kauaibuilt Posts: 49

    There are only three monk seals in the world. The Mediterranean, Caribbean, and the Hawaiian. There are less than 600 Mediterranean monk seals left and the Caribbean monk seal was declared extinct in 2008. There are less than 1200 Hawaiian monk seals left. Just a little info for you all. Stop arguing "politricks" already.

     
  • Puhi University posted at 2:19 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    Puhi University Posts: 24

    From an evolutionary standpoint, the Hawaiian monk seal sucks. Just like Kauai's other endangered resident, the Newell's Shearwater, that can't fly if it's life depended on it, this thing is just embarrassing.

     
  • onegeaeme posted at 2:08 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    onegeaeme Posts: 5792

    [quote]ethics guy said: "on this island its clearly Bush's fault "[/quote]

    If you say so.

    Peace and love Bettejo Dux

     
  • onegeaeme posted at 2:07 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    onegeaeme Posts: 5792

    [quote]ColleenMill said: "The difference is that human babies are not endangered."

    Truer words were never spoke. Maybe a little cynical, but cynicism is good for the whatever. You might enjoy my parties. You're always welcome. bettejo is easy to find.


    Peace and love Bettejo Dux

     
  • ethics guy posted at 1:57 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    ethics guy Posts: 137

    on this island its clearly Bush's fault

     
  • ColleenMill posted at 1:47 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    ColleenMill Posts: 44

    The difference is that human babies are not endangered.

     
  • onegeaeme posted at 12:10 pm on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    onegeaeme Posts: 5792

    Well, if the animals were deliberately killed, it was done by an incredibly sick individual.

    But we murder innocent kids in the Mid East all the time so what's one monk seal more or less? The killing machine spillith over.

    Peace and love Bettejo Dux

     
  • richwhiteman posted at 9:46 am on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    richwhiteman Posts: 3

    No it was the evil republicans!!!!

     
  • tunataxi posted at 9:41 am on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    tunataxi Posts: 672

    Unfortunately, many people here on the island have the misguided notion thaat the Monk Seal is eating all the game from the Ocean. An interesting concept when just last week there was a photo of a 155 lb Ulua shot by a freediver. The fish are gone because of many things:
    People NOT practicing catch and release. How many of the largest fish can we take before there is not enough breeding size fish to replenish the stocks.
    People night diving and taking everything they see or spearing lobsters only to be left to die inside the holes.
    Not to mention the introduced species eating the juveniles of endemic species.
    It's sad to put the blame on the seal when we are the perpetrators !!!

     
  • numilalocal55 posted at 9:12 am on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    numilalocal55 Posts: 286

    What's tragic is that some human took it upon himself (or herself) to kill this animal - an animal whose species predates human habitation of these islands by tens of thousands of years. Monk Seal is Aumakua to some.

     
  • Bullwinkle posted at 7:33 am on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    Bullwinkle Posts: 348

    Duh!
    Smart meters melt babies? What are they? Chocolate!?
    Duh!

    Looking for my rabbit cake mold...

     
  • billyjoebob posted at 6:40 am on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    billyjoebob Posts: 1295

    [quote]66porkchop said: "Not even remotely funny. F*#@ing lame is what it is. Why they allow a lame comment like yours is baffling."[/quote]

    What is " lame " is actually thinking that TGI would pay someone to sit around and monitor every comment and then decide which one gets a pass.
    Wouldn't be much to read as far as comments.


     
  • interesting posted at 5:50 am on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    interesting Posts: 1931

    lame? GMOs do kill seals (whales too). just like smart meters melt babies..

     
  • 66porkchop posted at 4:53 am on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    66porkchop Posts: 135

    [quote]interesting said: "caused by GMOs, clearly.."[/quote]

    Not even remotely funny. F*#@ing lame is what it is. Why they allow a lame comment like yours is baffling.

     
  • interesting posted at 3:47 am on Thu, Apr 26, 2012.

    interesting Posts: 1931

    caused by GMOs, clearly..

     

Online poll

What's the biggest issue facing Kauai right now?

1. 2. 3. s 4. 5. 6.

Total Votes: 546

Loading…

Most Popular

Follow us on Facebook