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Reward Offered for Tips in Monk Seal Deaths

Humane Society News Release

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust announced new efforts to support the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement’s work to combat poaching and designated wildlife-related crimes by sponsoring a toll-free, confidential reward tip line, 1-855-DLNR-TIP.

The statewide tip line will allow citizens to confidentially report information about poaching crimes to law enforcement. The HSUS will offer $2,500 rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for specific, predetermined cases. The first case under this new reward program and tip line involves three monk seals killed on Molokai and a fourth monk seal found killed on Kauai.

Necropsies performed on three of the four seals confirmed the deaths were suspicious. The fourth case is pending additional information. Anyone with information about these cases is asked to call the confidential reward tip line.

Along with The HSUS’s $2,500 reward offering, the Conservation Council for Hawai‘i, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Marine Conservation Institute are collectively offering $2,500 for each incident. A generous anonymous local donor has offered to match these rewards, bringing the reward total up to $30,000, or $10,000 per seal.

“We are pleased to support the critical work of DOCARE by funding a reward program and tip line for information on illegal wildlife-related offenses,” said Inga Gibson, Hawai‘i state director for The HSUS. “We must be a voice for these innocent animal victims and encourage anyone with information to please call the confidential tip line.”

“Monk seals are a vital part of Hawaii’s marine ecosystems,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “The intentional killing of any monk seal is not only illegal, it is inexcusable environmentally and culturally.”

“We thank The HSUS for their sponsorship of this new program to help protect Hawaii’s precious wildlife,” said Randy Awo, DOCARE chief. “Our hope is that the reward program will deter future wildlife crimes and also encourage the community to become more involved in protecting our environment and reporting wildlife offenses.”

Wildlife officials estimate that tens of millions of animals are poached annually nationwide, but less than 5 percent of poached animals come to the attention of law enforcement. Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
For more information about this current reward posting please visit humanesociety.org/Hawaii.

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One Response to “Reward Offered for Tips in Monk Seal Deaths”

  1. Ka Lani Ali'i says:

    Necropsies performed on three of the four seals confirmed the deaths were suspicious. Are you guys gonna put out what was so suspicious about there deaths?… Like was it shot, stoned, kicked. What if the scientist that took it out of its natural habitat in the north western hawaiian Islands and droped it off on molokai had a negative effect you know enviormental schock or something due to relocation. Turtles here have had lumps like sis growing on them. I free dive all the time and seen 9 dead honu’s in one area between palauau house and the warf on one dive they were fully intact just floating on the bottom with the current they had lumps on all of them. Could this be the culprit to there deaths. It seems like they are pointing the finger at people if so lets see the proof…the report, pictures where is the evidence. Maybe it could be run off from Monsanto’s GMO farm or something. Maybe the old rubbish dump run off thats on hawaiian homestead kalamaula. This is a community concern and could also be indangering free divers as well. Is it safe to dive those areas?…where these seals found in the same area?…

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