A 36-year-old Lihue man has been sentenced to a year in jail for attacking an endangered sea turtle on Kauai.
Judge Michael Soong sentenced Lance Kaaumoana in environmental court Tuesday for the stabbing attack on an endangered or threatened species, a misdemeanor. Soong imposed the maximum sentence for the offense.
Kauai police and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources responded to the attack at the Nawiliwili jetty area in April. Witnesses saw Kaaumoana stab the turtle multiple times with a knife.
The turtle recovered from its injuries and was released back to sea several days later.
”In Hawaii we take protection of our marine environment very seriously. This was a truly senseless attack on a peaceful animal, and we are satisfied that the judge imposed the maximum sentence,” Kauai Prosecutor Justin Kollar said.