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Officials investigate suspicious death of endangered Hawaiian monk seal on Kauai

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HONOLULU — State and federal officials are investigating the death of a 5-month-old Hawaiian monk seal on Kauai.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday a young female seal was found dead with injuries from blunt force trauma. She was found at a beach in Anahola on Sunday.

The seal was seen healthy and behaving normally less than 24 hours before she was found dead.

The Humane Society of the United States has posted a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing the seal.

Hawaiian monk seals are critically endangered. There are fewer than 1,100 remaining and the population is declining 4 percent a year.

The last suspicious Hawaiian monk seal death was also on Kauai, in April 2012.

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