State officials have announced the arrest of a 19-year-old Eleele man in the case of Tuesday’s attack on a Hawaiian monk seal at a Kauai beach.
The man was arrested this afternoon in connection with the beating of a pregnant, 17-year-old monk seal. A short video clip of the incident was widely posted on social media and picked up by news organizations around the country.
The suspect was apprehended by officers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement and the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement.
He is being held at the Kauai Police Department pending further disposition on suspicion of “taking a monk seal,” according to the news release. This includes harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing or collecting an endangered or threatened aquatic species or terrestrial wildlife.
If convicted of this felony offense, the suspect could face one to five years in prison. Additionally, the state environmental court may impose a fine of up to $50,000.