State Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers are asking for the public’s help identifying two men wanted for questioning in connection with the recent poisoning of several East Hawaii streams on the Big Island.
DOCARE officers said on Oct. 1, the two men reportedly snuck into the Hawai‘i Tropical Botanical Garden, and were told by staff to leave unless they paid the entrance fee. The men are believed to have re-entered the gardens by crawling under a security fence crossing over one of the streams, and their images were picked up a short time later on the garden’s cameras.
The next day, garden maintenance staff found hundreds of dead or near-dead prawns floating in stream pools. DOCARE officers walking above the garden the next day spotted more dead prawns, in addition to an empty bottle of pesticide.
One of the men is described as in his mid-20s, five-foot-six-inches tall and 135 pounds, with black hair. The other man is described as in his mid-30s, five-foot-eight-inches tall and 145 pounds, with black hair in a short pony tail.
Inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture have collected water samples and 20 prawns for further testing and analysis.
State officials said it is a Class C felony to poison streams or rivers in Hawaii. Anyone with information on the suspected stream poisonings or persons of interest is asked to contact DOCARE at the Hilo Office, 933-3460, statewide tip line, 643-DLNR (3567) or via the free DLNRTip App.