Authorities investigate death of young monk seal in Hawaii

HONOLULU — Authorities say a young monk seal found dead on the Hawaii island of Molokai last month had injuries that were intentionally caused.

The body of the female seal, identified as RJ42, was discovered on the west end of Kawaaloa Bay on May 31.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries conducted a post-mortem examination of the seal the next day, finding the injuries that caused the death were purposely inflicted by someone.

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is investigating the death. Authorities did not describe the nature of the injuries, citing the ongoing investigation.

NOAA officials say the monk seal is believed to be the sixth killed by people since 2009. About 1,400 seals were counted around the Hawaii islands in 2017.

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