Hawaii issues stern warning after viral video prompts wildlife harassment investigation

Viral video of tourist touching Hawaiian monk seal sparks outrage, calls for education

A viral TikTok video of a tourist disturbing a Hawaiian monk seal is renewing calls for the state to educate visitors.

In 2019, HTA and DLNR released a series of Malama Hawaii public service announcements. DLNR spokesperson Dan Dennison said at the time, the videos were offered on airlines' in-flight entertainment systems and on hotel closed-circuit TV systems in rotation in about 35,000 hotel rooms around the state. It's unclear which airlines continue to offer the videos.

"Maybe watching a video is not enough," said state Senator Bennette Misalucha, vice-chair of the Committee on Energy, Economic Development and Tourism. She supported a Senate resolution last session to require travelers to sign an official document acknowledging certain rules, similar to the Department of Agriculture form required on all flights.

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