Hawai’i Tourism Authority issues statement on respecting wildlife

HTA’s reminders on appropriate behavior around marine animals are on digital platforms, in-flight entertainment systems on participating airlines, in Hawaiʻi’s airports, on the in-room television systems of participating hotels, and on GoHawaii.com, the official travel site of the Hawaiian Islands.

In the wake of a video surfacing online that appears to show a beachgoer mounting and riding a distressed baby whale in Waikīkī, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority issues this reminder on respecting marine wildlife.

“One of the key messages in HTA’s visitor education program is that wildlife should be admired from afar. This incident reminds us all that the right thing to do when coming across wildlife is to respect their space, and if they are in trouble, notify the authorities,” said Mufi Hannemann, HTA board chair.

If you come across a stranded or injured marine animal anywhere in the Hawaiian Islands:

Call NOAA’s Marine Wildlife Hotline at (888) 256-9840 or the Department of Land & Natural Resources at (808) 643-DLNR (3567).
Use your camera or cell phone to take a photo of the animal from a safe distance. This can help responders identify the species and the steps necessary to help it.
Wait (if you can) for a trained and authorized responder to arrive so you can help them locate the animal. Watch it from a safe distance.
Don’t chase or corral the injured animal if it tries to move away.
Keep the area calm and quiet (to the extent you can) and encourage others to keep their distance and keep dogs on a leash.

“While rushing to a distressed marine animal’s side may seem like the right thing to do, doing so is potentially dangerous for both the animal and the human. HTA will continue to educate visitors, share information about respecting marine life through our channels, and support our community and government partners who protect these majestic creatures,” said Daniel Nāhoʻopiʻi, HTA Interim President & CEO.

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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