Visitor volume needs more management
Kaua‘i has too many visitors, and it’s not healthy for the environment. Look at Brennecke’s Beach today, July 31, 2021. It’s been like this for months. It’s noisy. Trash is piling up. Animals are suffering. There are better ways to manage tourism that doesn’t involve sheer numbers of people.
Amanda Kaufmann, Koloa
Monk seal are not plush toys
Several decades ago, a hippopotamus escaped from a zoo near where I then lived, and took up residence in a local ranch’s stock pond. For several months she evaded all attempts to recapture her. Many people in the area were upset that this recapture took so long. Apparently, they had seen too many cartoon hippos such as those in Disney’s “Fantasia” to understand that a two-ton mammal with 6-inch long tusks will not go meekly where it does not want to go, in this case back to the zoo.
The same sort of stupidity seems to inform views of Hawaiian monk seals, even, for example, among writers of Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorials. A recent piece in that paper describing monk seals as “cute” hardly helps correct the idea that one can pet them with impunity. Monk seals are wild carnivores, tools of whose trade include industrial strength teeth and jaws. They are not plush toys. People who insist on cuddling or posing with them deserve to get bitten as well as fined.
At least the Louisiana couple recently cited for harassing a seal had the decency to apologize. However, I find their self-justifying claim to be animal lovers specious at best. Anyone who truly loves animals should know better than to try to pet a wild high food chain predator. Someone who genuinely loves such creatures should know enough to respect them for what they are, and leave them alone.
Heu‘ionalani Wyeth, Anahola