Reward offered for info on slaying of monk seal


POSTED: Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Federal officials are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of an endangered Hawaiian monk seal on Kauai in April.

The 5-year-old male seal was found dead from foul play on a remote beach near Kaumakani, on the west side of the island, on April 19, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Law Enforcement.

“;The killing of this endangered Hawaiian monk seal is not only a violation of federal law, but a crime against all the people who call Hawaii their home,”; said Special Agent in Charge William Pickering, of NOAA OLE's Pacific Islands Division. “;It is our hope that this reward will bring someone forward that can supply us with the information needed to arrest and convict those who would commit such a heinous act.”;

Hawaiian monk seals are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, with about 1,200 estimated alive today, according to NOAA.

It is illegal to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect any endangered species, according to NOAA. Violations can result in criminal and civil penalties of not more than $50,000, a term of imprisonment of one year or both.

Anyone with information about the case can contact the NOAA enforcement hot line at (800) 853-1964.