Honeymooners fined for unusual reason
Louisiana tourists who were honeymooning in Hawaii have been investigated and fined by US authorities after a video emerged on social media showing them doing something unusual.
The clip showed a woman touching an endangered Hawaiian monk seal and running away after the seal raised its head and snapped at her.
The couple were “deeply sorry”, according to a man identified as Stephen who spoke to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
“We love Hawaii and the culture. We didn’t mean to offend anyone,” he said.
Under state and federal laws in the United States, it is a felony to touch or harass a Hawaiian monk seal.
Penalties include up to five years in prison and a US $50,000 (AUD $67,000) fine.
There are an estimated 1100 Hawaiian monk seals in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands and another 300 on the main islands.
The Associated Press weren’t able to reach the couple, but reported that authorities from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contacted the pair.
Dominic Andrews, a spokesperson for NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, said an investigation was underway.