December 12, 2014

The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust

Following the Nov. 30 illegal killing of a Hawaiian monk seal on the Northeast coast of Kaua‘i, animal welfare and conversation groups are seeking the public’s help to protect the island’s monk seals. The Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, the Conservation Council for Hawai‘i, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Monk Seal Foundation are offering $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. The Garden Island newspaper has offered to match this reward.

Patrick Wardell, president of the Monk Seal Foundation, said: “Hawaiian monk seals belong to all of us and to these islands. If we’re going to give them a safe home, this is the time for nonprofits, government agencies and community members to stand together. These senseless deaths are heartbreaking but we can’t let them stop us from putting these native seals on a better path toward hope and survival.”

Inga Gibson, Hawai‘i director for The Humane Society of the United States said, “The $10,000 reward for this latest heinous attack on a defenseless monk seal pup shows that the community demands justice and highly values these critically endangered animals.”

Community members and other organizations are encouraged to assist in these efforts by engaging in the following actions:

Monk Seal Facts:

  • The population of monk seals, Hawai‘i’s official state marine mammal, is estimated at less than 1,100 animals. Monk seals are endemic to Hawaii and can be found nowhere else in the world
  •  In 2010, the state legislature enacted felony penalties for killing a monk seal, which carries a fine of up to $50,000 and up to 5 years in prison. Monk seals are also protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
  • There have been 5 killings of monk seals since 2009; three on Kaua‘i and two on Molokai. All of these cases remain under active investigation with standing rewards for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

For more information, contact:
The HSUS: Inga Gibson, [email protected]
Conservation Council for Hawai‘i: Marjorie Ziegler, [email protected], 808-593-0255
Center for Biological Diversity: Miyoko Sakashita, [email protected], 510-845-6703
Monk Seal Foundation: Patrick Wardell, [email protected], 808-268-6758

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Article source: HSUS

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