By Kristy Tamashiro
HNN Spring Intern
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- Earlier this month, Jonathan Rillimas and his 7-year-old daughter Malia were driving on the North Shore when they spotted an injured pueo on the side of the road. Malia insisted that they pull over.
Over the next two hours, the father and daughter and a third driver, Brian Smith, stayed with the endangered Hawaiian owl until state crews could arrive to take it to an animal hospital.
The good deed was noticed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which honored the trio on Thursday with the first-ever DLNR & You Citizen Conservationist award.
"We can't be everywhere every time so we rely on kama'aina to be our eyes and ears," said DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Chief Robert Farrell, at the award ceremony.
Rillimas said he was honored for the recognition, and added that it's important to show the keiki of Hawaii how to protect all 'aumakua, or family deity.
The pueo they saved apparently suffered injuries after getting caught on a low-lying power or clotheslines, said Dr. Douglas Chang of Aloha Animal Hospital. The owl has a fractured elbow, but Chang and his team are working to get the bird back to the wild.