DLNR News Release-Maui Man Cited for Pursuing Wildlife at Kealakekua State Historical Park

Posted on Mar 6, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – 65-year-old David Jiménez of Maui was cited this morning at Kealakekua Bay on Hawai‘i Island, after the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) received numerous calls reporting alleged wildlife harassment. Jiménez was allegedly actively pursuing an adolescent humpback whale and dolphins inside Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park. 

On Sunday, DOCARE officers received a video recording of a man snorkeling close enough to the adolescent humpback whale to almost touch the whale’s fin. 

When a DOCARE officer arrived on shore early today, they recorded Jiménez actively pursuing a pod of spinner dolphins. They recorded a video, in which they say Jiménez, in the black dive suit, was leading a group chasing the dolphins. Both whales and dolphins are protected by state and federal laws. 

Jiménez refers to himself as “Dolphin Dave,” on Facebook, and told officers he’s not going to stop swimming with whales and dolphins, “because it’s magical and others do much worse things.” 

He was cited with the following violations of Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (HAR): 

  • 13-124-3(b)(1) Prohibited Acts in Regard to Endangered Whale Species 

  • 13-146-41 Harassing Wildlife in a State Park

Jiménez was  summoned to appear in Kona District court  at 8:30 a.m. May 11, 2023.

To report wildlife harassment or suspected violations, call the 24-hour DLNR tip line at 808-643-DLNR or report via the free DLNRTip app.

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(All images and video courtesy: DLNR) 

Video – Kealakekua State Historical Park incidents (March 5 and 6, 2023): 


Media Contact: 

Dan Dennison 

Senior Communications Manager 

(808) 587-0396 

[email protected]