Investigation Launched Into Suspicious Monk Seal Death on Moloka‘i

June 13, 2018, 9:01 AM HST · Updated June 13, 9:01 AM

Hawaiian Monk Seal, RJ42. PC: NOAA Fisheries.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have launched an investigation into the suspicious death of a monk seal on Molokaʻi.

The juvenile female monk seal, RJ42, was found dead by community members on May 31, 2018 on the west end of Kawaʻaloa Bay in Moʻomomi.

A post-mortem examination conducted by NOAA Fisheries on June 1, indicated injuries were purposely inflicted, causing a significant amount of trauma, resulting in the monk seal’s death.

This is the sixth suspected monk seal killing on Molokaʻi, and the third in Moʻomomi, since 2009.

Hawaiian Monk Seal, RJ42. PC: NOAA Fisheries.

Harassing endangered Hawaiian monk seals in any way violates both federal and state marine mammal protection laws. Anyone with information is asked to call the NOAA enforcement hotline at 1-800-853-1964.

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement may offer a reward to any person who furnishes information which leads to an arrest, conviction, or civil penalty assessment.

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