Honeymooning Couple Disturbs Endangered Seal – They Will Regret It
They will regret it (Video)
A couple visiting in Hawaii has received backlash after uploading a video on Social Media of the wife touching an endangered monk seal. Stephen said he and his wife Lakyn were in Kauai after getting married on Maui. It was the first time they saw a Hawaiian monk seal and they didn’t know about the laws related to the species. They have since apologised for their actions, saying they hadn’t meant to offend anyone. “We sincerely apologize if we offended any locals. The last thing we want to do is disrespect anyone or anybody’s culture or lifestyle. That’s something we’re really, really sorry about. We’re animal lovers. We weren’t trying to cause any harm or threaten or scare any animals. We’re deeply sorry. We’ll learn from this mistake.” Stephen said.
The video shows Lakyn touching a monk seal on the beach. The seal, however, didn’t look too happy about the incident, and suddenly jumped up – reaching its head towards her hand. Lakyn then jumps back and runs away across the beach. According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hawaiian monk seal is considered one of the world’s most endangered species. Its population is around 1,400, with 300 seals in the main Hawaiian Islands and 1,100 seals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, NOAA Fisheries reports. The monk seal is protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Hawaii state law.
Five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000
NOAA contacted the couple over the weekend and handed them an undisclosed fine. Dominic Andrews, a spokesman for NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, confirmed that an investigation was underway, but declined to comment further. “Intentional harassing,” killing or harming a monk seal is a class C felony and violators could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000, Hawaii Magazine reported. Watch the video, their footage has caused them a lot of trouble.