While on their honeymoon, a couple was fined for disturbing an endangered Hawaiian monk seal.
One couple from Louisiana reached the headlines after a video of a woman touching an endangered Hawaiian monk seal at a Kauai beach went viral on TikTok. Following the popularity gain of the clip, the couple were fined for disturbing the seal.
According to 9GAG, the incident happened while the pair were on their honeymoon.
The husband, Stephan, apologized in a conversation with the Star-Advertiser:
“We’re deeply sorry. We love Hawaii and the culture. We didn’t mean to offend anyone. We respect the culture.”
Stephan continued explaining:
“We didn’t see no signs. We didn’t know anything, but I know that’s no excuse. We sincerely apologize if we offended any locals. The last thing we want to do is disrespect anyone or anybody’s culture or lifestyle. That’s something we’re really, really sorry about.”
He claimed he and Lakyn, his wife, are “animal lovers,” and they didn’t wish to “cause any harm.”
“We’re animal lovers. We weren’t trying to cause any harm or threaten or scare any animals. We’re deeply sorry. We’ll learn from this mistake.”
After seeing the clip Lakyn posted on TikTok, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contacted the couple to issue a fine of an undisclosed amount. Yet, because harassing a Hawaiian monk seal is considered a Class C felony under state and federal laws, the two of them may have to pay up to $50,000.