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4 years in prison for harassing pregnant Hawaiian monk seal
HONOLULU – A judge on Wednesday sentenced a Hawaii man to four
years in prison for harassing a pregnant Hawaiian monk seal.
Hawaiian monk seals are among the world's most critically
endangered marine mammals. There are about 1,400 in the wild.
Shylo Kaena Akuna harassed the seal in April 2016 at Kauai's
Salt Pond Beach Park, said Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin
KHON-TV reported previously that bystanders recorded video
showing a man wading into the water, swinging at the endangered
animal and possibly throwing sand at it.
"Akuna was apparently highly intoxicated at the time," Kollar
said in a statement. "Animal abuse is often a precursor to other
types of violence and cannot be tolerated in our community."
The seal gave birth to a female pup about a week after the
incident, Kollar said.
Akuna was sentenced to a year in jail last month for the
unrelated theft and slaughter of a goat. He also faces charges
on another unrelated case involving an alleged March burglary of
a room at the Poipu Grand Hyatt hotel.
Akuna's defense attorney, Mark Zenger, did not immediately
return a phone call seeking comment.
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