$1,500 for Touching a Hawaiian Monk
ALABAMA – August 27, 2018
Self-admiration has always been the scourge of humanity. Still, until relatively recently, in order for people to be able to indulge in their narcissism, a certain amount of money was required -the artist to hire, entourage to provide. Bit of a nuisance. But now any smart phone user can shoot a least a thousand "selfies" a day, by himself. The only concern is to find a good background. These people don't think about the consequences. They forget everything, even themselves, let alone the animals.
An Alabama man recorded a video while vacationing in Kauai last year, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. He was tracked down through his Instagram post with the hashtag #monkseals, which showed him walking up to the sleeping animal and then stroking it with his hand. The startled seal turns towards the man before he runs away.
The video shows the images cutting away to a sign urging beachgoers to avoid wildlife. Now he must pay $1,500 for touching a Hawaiian monk seal and then posting the video on social media.
Further investigation found another video of the man, who was not named, aggressively pursuing a sea turtle while snorkeling in another Hawaiian location, a violation of the Endangered Species Act.
With a population of about 1,400 remaining in the wild, Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species. All species of sea turtles in U.S. waters are listed as either threatened or endangered.
NOAA's guidelines urge people to view protected wildlife responsibly and stay back 10 feet from sea turtles, 50 feet from seals, 50 yards from dolphins and 100 yards from humpback whales.
In Indonesia a driver who rode a whale shark and videotaped it was arrested. This was reported by the daily Mail.
Whale sharks in Indonesia are protected. Divers are forbidden to touch the animals and approach them closer than a meter, as they are very easy to hurt. Slow-moving sharks are often prey to hunters or fall into fishing nets. They eat only plankton, small fish and jellyfish and are not dangerous to humans.