Who Would Kill This Monk Seal?

Nathan Eagle/Honolulu Civil Beat

A monk seal naps at Kaena Point in this 2012 photo.

Last year, a man on Molokai confessed to killing an endangered Hawaiian monk seal — and nothing happened.

He didn't just whisper it to a friend or post it on Facebook. He told a New York Times Magazine reporter that he hit an 8-year-old bull in the head with a rock out of anger and under peer pressure. Millions of people read the story in the May 8 edition titled "Who's Killing The Monk Seals?"

Those readers included federal law enforcement agents whose job it is to protect Hawaiian monk seals, a species that has been classified as endangered under federal law since 1976.

Now, the federal agent overseeing the case, Paul Newman, says there are few leads to go on although the incident is still under investigation. So he wouldn't say if officers had interviewed the young man who'd confessed. He also wouldn't say if police asked locals for help in tracking the guy down as the Times reporter had.

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