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DLNR issues 2 citations at cat feeding protest in Waikoloa

COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
                                State conservation officers issued two citations and one warning at a protest Tuesday night over the removal of cat-feeding stations at Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa.
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COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

State conservation officers issued two citations and one warning at a protest Tuesday night over the removal of cat-feeding stations at Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa.

DLNR said it issued two citations and one warning at a protest Tuesday night over the removal of cat-feeding stations at Queens' Marketplace in Waikoloa. Courtesy DLNR.
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DLNR said it issued two citations and one warning at a protest Tuesday night over the removal of cat-feeding stations at Queens' Marketplace in Waikoloa. Courtesy DLNR.

COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
                                State conservation officers issued two citations and one warning at a protest Tuesday night over the removal of cat-feeding stations at Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa.
DLNR said it issued two citations and one warning at a protest Tuesday night over the removal of cat-feeding stations at Queens' Marketplace in Waikoloa. Courtesy DLNR.

State conservation officers issued two citations and one warning during a protest by cat activists Tuesday night over the removal of cat-feeding stations at Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said about 50 people — some carrying large bags of cat food — showed up at the shopping center’s rear parking lot to protest the removal of three cat-feeding stations.

Last week, DLNR directed Queens’ property owner Alexander & Baldwin to remove the cat-feeding stations or face potential penalties because endangered nene were also eating the cat food, which is not part of their natural diet.

DLNR said it also consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the situation, and that the latter considers the feeding an illegal take, or a negative impact on a threatened or endangered species. DLNR requested that A&B remove the feeding stations by April 25.

On Tuesday, officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement cited two women with Waikoloa addresses for the “prohibited take of endangered species” after they allegedly put bowls of cat food on the ground in the lot.

Officers issued a warning to another woman after she was spotted pouring cat food into bowls behind a shed.

Two dueling petitions have been posted online over the issue of nene at cat-feeding stations in Waikoloa.

Nene are listed as an endangered species under Hawaii state law, and a threatened species under federal law.

DLNR said it, along with the USFWS, has legal responsibility for protecting native Hawaiian species, including the nene.

“As animal lovers, we strongly believe that keeping cats indoors is better for cats and better for the native wildlife, including the nene for which we are responsible,” said DLNR in a statement.

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