A young man from Kauai has been arrested and charged with harassing a pregnant Hawaiian monk seal.
After being filmed in the act, 19-year-old Shylo K. Akuna was charged with prohibited take of a monk seal, disorderly conduct and violation of county park rules.
Authorities say the video, supported by eyewitness accounts, led to Akuna’s arrest.
“Without it, we wouldn’t have identity of this man, very crucial,” said DOCARE chief Thomas Friel. “I think the main factor was the video, and several people identified the suspect.”
“I think the message is very clear. Harming monk seals is not okay and we’re not going to tolerate it, and the public won’t tolerate it,” said DLNR chair Suzanne Case. “We very much appreciate everyone’s help bringing this matter to the arrest stage.”
According to Honolulu Star Advertiser He was scheduled to be arraigned at Fifth Circuit Court at 1 p.m. today. The offense, take of a monk seal, is a Class C felony. He faces penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.