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Hawaii cites man for harassing humpback whale, dolphins

Dolphin Disease Detectives
Posted at 6:07 AM, Mar 07, 2023

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii officials on Monday cited a Maui man seen on video snorkeling for allegedly harassing a humpback whale and pod of dolphins.

The man actively pursued the adolescent whale inside Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park off the Big Island, according to a Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources statement.

The agency said it received numerous calls from people reporting the harassment, as well as a video taken from the man's public Facebook page. That video appears to show him snorkeling close enough to a humpback whale to almost touch the animal's fin.

A law enforcement officer from the agency went to the park on Monday and recorded video of the man pursuing a pod of spinner dolphins. The officer said the man was leading a group chasing the dolphins.

The agency cited him for prohibited activity with indigenous wildlife and harassing wildlife in a state park.

The individual the agency identified as the defendant didn't immediately respond to a Facebook message seeking comment. He's due to appear in court on May 11.

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