Hanauma Bay's mongoose... time to fine the City and County of Honolulu
Has it ever been this bad? I mean, I've complained about the Hanauma Bay Exotic Animal Park, but yesterday was a whopper.
The number one question asked by visitors was, "What was that long, brown 'rodent' running around?" And they were asking the question because those Asian mongoose were SO DAMN VISIBLE!!! They were constantly running back and forth across the sidewalks, the beach, and the lawn, going from hedge to hedge as they stalked their favorite prey, either the garbage can or some unsuspecting visitor's bag of food. I counted 6 visiting the garbage cans in front of the education kiosk, with up to 3 at a time in the cans (overall, I'd say I observed 12). Oh, and if you want to start a new TV show, have it be about the reactions of people approaching a trash can and having a mongoose or a cat explode out of it.
I submit that the City and County of Honolulu are "keeping" mongoose within the state, by knowingly providing them with food and shelter. The lack of control, the failure to provide mongoose-proof trash containers, and the failure to educate staff and visitors alike not to feed the animals, fits my definition of "keep."
Hawaii Injurious Wildlife (HAR 124) notes that no person shall:
(1) Release injurious wildlife into the wild;
(2) Transport them to islands or locations within the State where they are not already established and living in a wild state;
(3) Export any such species, or the dead body or parts thereof, from the State.
HDOA Animal Industry Division Quarantine Rule HAR 142-93 is specific to mongoose. It states:
"§142-93 Harboring mongoose; penalty. Any person harboring, feeding, or in any way caring for a mongoose, except upon and according to the terms of a written permit which may be granted therefor by the department of agriculture, in its discretion, to scientists, scientific institutions, associations, or colleges, or to officers, boards, or commissions of the State or any county, shall be penalized..."
"Harborage" is defined by the State Department of Health as "any condition or place which may provide shelter for public health vectors or favor their multiplication or continued existence" and a "vector" means an organism, usually an insect or other arthropod, rodent, or other animal, capable of transmitting the causative agents of human diseases or affecting public health and well-being." I believe cats and mongoose at Hanauma Bay qualify as "vectors."