Hawaii News

Big Island’s Kīlauea volcano desecrated by man urinating into the summit

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Over the weekend, the majesty of Kīlauea’s latest eruption on the Big island was marred by a man who urinated into the summit of the sacred volcano and posted a photo of it on social media.

A photo of a man performing the act, whose status as a resident or tourist is unknown, sparked outrage on social media, a statewide news channel reported Sunday night. The man has reportedly deleted the account connected to the photo.

“Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is disappointed to see this reported depiction of a disrespectful act,” park officials said in a statement released to media outlets. “Not only does this seem to depict the improper disposal of human waste in a developed area, which is in violation of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, but it also demonstrates a lack of understanding and disregard for the cultural significance of Kīlauea.”

In November, Big Island resident Travis Upright apologized for a since deleted viral video of himself urinating on Mauna Kea, another sacred mountain on Hawaiʻi Island.


After receiving intense backlash for the act, Upright apologized online, saying: “I am so sorry that I hurt so many people. I want to understand what it means to hold life and the land so precious and sacred that I would protect it with my life. But not for me. But so I can teach it to the next generation after me. So that the pain ends with me. No more.”

Kīlauea is the youngest and most active of Hawai‘i’s volcanoes, and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Per tradition, the crater at its summit, Halemaʻumaʻu, is also the permanent home of the volcano deity Pele.

Park officials encouraged people to come see the eruption at any hour, but respectfully. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and its restrooms are open 24 hours.


“Rangers provide information in-person, on the park website, and the National Park
Service mobile app on how to view the eruption safely and to be mindful of the sensitive natural and cultural resources in the area,” park officials said.

Visitors to the national park who see something suspicious, or have information that could aid an investigation, can call or text the ISB Tip Line 888-653-0009.


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