Social media post of man urinating at Kilauea eruption viewing site stirs harsh backlash

A post of a man urinating atop Kilauea is circulating social media and igniting frustration amongst many.
Published: Jan. 8, 2023 at 6:07 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 8, 2023 at 11:40 PM HST

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A photo of a man urinating at a Kilauea eruption viewing site that was posted on social media is igniting anger — with some saying it underscores the need for cultural education.

Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a Native Hawaiian activist, said Halemaumau Crater has great symbolism and meaning to her people. And so she’s not surprised by how livid people are after seeing the photo.

The person tagged in the photo, posted Saturday amid an ongoing eruption of Kilauea, has since deactivated their account. It’s unclear whether the individual is a tourist or resident.

“Many foreigners do not understand how we kanaka feel about our relationship to the places and spaces here in the islands that we live in,” said Wong-Kalu.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park said in a statement that they’re disappointed by the post.

The statement said: “Not only does this seem to depict the improper disposal of human waste in a developed area, which is in violation of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, but it also demonstrates a lack of understanding and disregard for the cultural significance of Kilauea.”

They said public restrooms are available 24 hours in the park.

In November, a man who had recently moved to Hawaii Island posted a video of himself urinating on Mauna Kea. After a torrent of criticism, Upright posted a video asking for forgiveness.

Wong-Kalu is asking visitors to be more conscious and sensitive.

She’s turning to the community for help in raising awareness.

“I would ask for our kanaka and kamaaina alike and for other foreigners who may live here, please let us consider what kind of Hawaii we create and what kind of Hawaii we endorse in terms of the things that we do and don’t do in our home,” said Wong-Kalu. “We all have a responsibility, so let’s all do better.”

If you see something suspicious, or if you have information that could aid an investigation, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park said you can call or text the ISB Tip Line, 888-653-0009.