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Alabama man fined for touching endangered Hawaiian monk seal

File image of Hawaiian Monk Seals on Hawaii beaches. (Image: Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program)
File image of Hawaiian Monk Seals on Hawaii beaches. (Image: Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program)
Updated: Aug. 26, 2018 at 4:03 PM HST
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LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - Officials say an Alabama man was fined $1,500 for touching a Hawaiian monk seal as well as harassing a sea turtle on Kauai, and then posting the videos on social media.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the Alabama resident, who was vacationing on Kauai last year, agreed to pay the fine.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Office of Law Enforcement in Hawaii used the man's social media accounts to track down his home address.

The Alabama man, in the video posted on Instagram with #monkseals, walks up to a sleeping monk seal on Poipu Beach at night, and strokes it with his hand. The startled seal quickly turns toward him, and he runs away.

Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species.

Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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