Officials claim that humans killed endangered seals found dead in Hawaii.
The deaths of two endangered Hawaiian monk seals discovered on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, are being investigated by US officials.
The two creatures, a 4-year-old male and a 3-year-old female, were discovered to have perished as a result of human-inflicted injuries, according to Hawaiian television channel KHON2, citing NOAA officials.
Because of their tracking numbers, the seals were identified. Both animals were born on the island and were last seen in good health a few weeks before they died.
The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the world’s most endangered seal species. According to the NOAA, its population has been declining for decades, and though it is currently increasing (due in part to recovery efforts), it is still just a third of historic levels.
The animals are estimated to number 1,400 on the world, with the majority of them dwelling in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian monk seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and are categorized as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. People who injure others can be fined or imprisoned.
On the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i in 2018, an Alabama citizen was fined $1,500 for simply touching and pestering a sea turtle.
Despite this, Hawaiian monk seals have been killed in what appear to be deliberate killings on a regular basis. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describes such instances as “ongoing and of great concern.”
According to KHON2, the NOAA claims that at least seven of the animals have died in strange ways since 2009.
According to the administration, as of 2018, the majority of the overall deliberate homicides were caused by “blunt force trauma,” with at least four people dying from apparent gunshot wounds.
Death by humans aside, other threats facing the Hawaiian monk seal include food limitation, being eaten by sharks, entanglement in fishing gear, and habitat loss.
They are also affected by disease, including toxoplasmosis—a parasitic infection. At least 13 deaths have been attributed to this.
Hawaiian monk seals tend to grow to between 400 and 600lbs and a length of 6 to 7ft. They can have a maximum age of more than 30 years.
They eat a variety of foods including fishes, squids, octopuses, and crustaceans like crabs. They tend to dive to the sea floor to forage, holding. This is a brief summary.