Decapitated animals found on side of road sparks outcry online

A video showing what's believed to be Mouflon Sheep left headless on the side of the road in Hawaiian Acres on the Hi...

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 5:07 AM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 5:07 AM

A video showing what's believed to be Mouflon Sheep left headless on the side of the road in Hawaiian Acres on the Hilo side of the Big Island caused an outcry on social media.

The reason the video is so controversial is that the animals clearly weren't used for their meat.

A majority of their bodies were left mainly intact but all were left without their heads.

"Typically when we see animals decapitated, especially wildlife, it would be for trophy hunting purposes. No ethical hunter would ever leave the animal remains behind let alone leave the animals on the side of the road where they pose a threat to vehicular safety." Explained Police Representative with the West Hawaii Humane Society, Inga Gibson.

It's unclear exactly how and why the animals died, but one hunter says it's not right.

"I think the general public understands that law abiding, ethical hunters don't do these kinds of things" said hunter Ryan Kohatsu, "Hunters have far more respect for the wildlife they hunt than to leave it in the public's view like that."

The Department of Land and Natural Resources says legal hunters are advised to remove any remains of the animal they slaughter and cannot leave it on the side of the road where they pose a threat to cars or bikes.

Gibson says all wildlife, including sheep and deer, are protected under state anti-cruelty laws.

Hawaii administrative rules regulate hunting and prohibit certain wanton, or intentional waste of animal carcasses.

Penalties can vary anywhere from hundreds of dollars to second degree animal cruelty, resulting in up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

"This is what we would call poaching basically, illegal hunting where there is unnecessary wanton waste and also unnecessary cruelty. We urge DLNR to investigate and if necessary post a reward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved." Said Gibson.

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