Hawaii police make arrest in attack on endangered seal

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — Authorities in Hawaii have made an arrest in connection with an attack on an endangered monk seal that was caught on video.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources says that 19-year-old Shylo Akuna of Eleele, Kuaui, was taken into custody Thursday afternoon.

The department says in a statement late Thursday that the video, supported by witness accounts, led to Akuna’s arrest.

He is being held on suspicion of “taking a monk seal,” a charge that includes harassing, hunting, or capturing an endangered animal.

KHON-TV reported earlier that Kauai County police responded Tuesday to a report of the man attacking the well-known, pregnant seal while she was trying to rest in the water. Officials identified the seal as RK-30, who is easily identifiable by scars from shark bites, boat propellers and a neck entanglement.

In the dark video made around sunset, a man is shown wading into the water, swinging at the seal and possibly throwing sand at the endangered animal. It’s unclear from the video if the man had a weapon. NOAA said the seal, believed to be about 17 years old, had no apparent injuries from the attack.


Information from: KHON-TV, http://khon.com

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