Honeymooning tourists fined for touching endangered Hawaiian monk seal on Kauai beach


SUNSET BEACH, HI – JUNE 27: An endangered Hawaiian Monk seal spends a second day napping on a beach near Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu June 27, 2002 at Sunset Beach, Hawaii. Lifeguards kept people from disturbing the lounging animal as such sightings are rare on Oahu, but are becoming more frequent. (Photo by Phil Mislinski / Getty Images).

HONOLULU — U.S. authorities launched an investigation and fined Louisiana tourists honeymooning in Hawaii after a video on social media showed a woman touching an endangered Hawaiian monk seal.

The couple were “deeply sorry,” a man identified as Stephen told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for a story Tuesday. “We love Hawaii and the culture. We didn’t mean to offend anyone.”

A video posted on TikTok and other social media showed a woman touching the seal at a Kauai beach in June. The video showed her running away after the resting seal raised its head and snapped at her.

The Associated Press wasn’t immediately able to reach the couple Tuesday.

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