January 9, 2024
Meiqin Chen was convicted following her ‘No Contest’ plea to the charge of §183D-62 Taking, injuring, or destroying wild birds prohibited and fined the minimum amount of $200. The court filing for this charge can be found here.
The nēnē family was seen back at Wailoa River State Recreation Area in May though the gander (banded HEP) hasn’t been seen since. The gosling (banded NYN) has been sighted roaming around the Hilo area and the goose (banded NTC) is now nesting with a new mate.
March 23, 2023
A nēnē family was recently reunited and relocated after a distressing incident at Wailoa River State Recreation Area in Hilo. The gosling of this family was illegally captured by Meiqin Chen, who was later apprehended thanks to the vigilance of Hawaii Island resident Lilinoe Kahalepauole and her family.
Kahalepauole witnessed Chen feeding the gosling’s parents to distract them before seizing the gosling and driving away. While Kahalepauole and her husband followed Chen and coordinated with law enforcement, their teenage sons stayed behind to assist a DLNR biologist in capturing the gosling’s parents.
The family’s quick action led to Chen’s apprehension, and the gosling, found in an onion bag, was safely recovered. The nene family is now in an isolation pen at the Hawaii Island nene sanctuary, under observation to ensure their familial bond remains strong after the ordeal.
Raymond McGuire of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife praised the Kahalepauole family for their decisive actions. He emphasized the importance of keeping nene wild for their survival, noting the risks of habituation to humans.