A Kauai man was cited Thursday for allegedly attacking a turtle near Kalapaki Sea Wall on Kauai.
Hawaiian green sea turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Lance Kaaumoana is accused of repeatedly stabbing the turtle in the shell and fins using an old, rusty butter knife.
He was also allegedly using a large rock to hit it.
Marine biologist Don Heacock, of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, responded to the scene and said the turtle was "listless" after the attack.
It didn't struggle at all. Its front flippers and rear flippers basically just hung loose and limp, which is not indicative of a healthy turtle at all."
Heacock took the turtle to his home for observation and said the turtle's condition has improved dramatically within 12 hours of the attack.
It's unclear if Kaaumoana was also arrested, or if DLNR just cited him.
The agency did not return our requests for information on Friday, a state holiday.
A background check shows Kaaumoana was convicted this year of criminal trespass. He also has been convicted for open lewdness, shoplifting and domestic violence.
Heacock said he will continue to observe the turtle over the weekend.
"If it starts getting lethargic again then I'll send it to NOAA fisheries ... and let them take a better look and hold in their isolation facility."
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