The Department of Land and Natural resources honored Big Island resident, Rodney Kuahiwi-nui on Friday.
Kuahiwi-nui is being recognized after scientists say he played a critical role in transporting a 13,000 pound whale back in November near Ka'u.
His role in using equipment to move the animal for examination helped scientists determine the cause of death of the highly endangered false killer whale in order to protect the future of the species.
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