Eric Mustevoy, TikTok star had earlier posted a video of himself slapping an endangered monk seal on Oʻahu beach, Hawaii. After receiving a lot of backlash for his action, the social media star has issued a public apology for his actions saying,“ I was completely in the wrong”.
In the video, Eric was seen in black shorts, a baseball cap, and a pink T-shirt dancing then gradually approaching the monk seal from behind, leaning over, slapping it, and then running away. He posted the video with the Akon song Smack That dubbed over it.
The video infuriated the social media users after it was made viral by an Instagram page @hungruhungryhawaiian, which has 276,000 followers. The video was widely condemned online as people urged the authorities to find the perpetrator.
Eric scrambled to delete the video originally posted on his TikTok account and apologised for sharing the content saying that he was completely at fault and he did not intend to hurt the animal. He said that he wanted to make a public apology for the video he had posted of the Monk Seal, and it was hard for him to find the right words given that he was completely in the wrong.
The resting endangered monk seal can be seen angrily chasing Eric for hitting it. He came under the notice of the marine federal authorities after the video earned major backlash from the general public on social media. Under Hawaii law, the harassment of a monk seal is considered a class C felony, punishable by imprisonment and fines, and users termed his behaviour “illegal”.
Eric, who was visiting Hawaii to see some friend told the media that slapping the seal was never his intention, and he wasn’t aware that touching the animal was illegal. He said that he was just filming the seal. He further told the reporters that he had no clue what was going to happen or whatnot, he was just into it.
He further added that he and the camera person felt instantly that something wasn’t right, and they should have not done it. Eric admitted to hitting the monk seal. However, later in his post, he was also seen backpeddaling on the statement he gave to the media and has been pushing to the blame to his friend, who denied all accusations, said reports.