There was a short but depressing story in the Dec. 23 Honolulu Star-Advertiser on two Hawaiian Monk Seals that died recently on Molokai under what investigators termed “suspicious circumstances” (click here to read the story). I wish I could give more details, but they really aren’t available at this point.
Molokai activist Walter Ritte, who is outspoken on a number of subjects like land use and the environment, had the following to say about the deaths. We reprint it here for you to bring a different perspective to the deaths–one not usually mentioned around here.
STATEMENT FROM WALTER RITTE:
The death of these Hawaiian Monk Seals on Molokai is an indication of a dangerous trend that must be stopped. Our elders are saying that these seals are not Hawaiian. Our young people are calling these seals an invasive species brought in by government. The seals are now the easy targets of blame for the many ills of our depleting fisheries. We need to stand up for the truth: These seals are not only Hawaiian, but have been here longer than the Hawaiians. These seals are not invasive; they are like the Hawaiian people who are struggling to survive in their own lands. Hawaiians need to see themselves when they see a Hawaiian Monk Seal. How we treat the seals, is how we can be expected to be treated as Hawaiians in Hawaii.
Photo of Hawaiian Monk Seal: Kent Backman/Wikimedia Commons