Audrey McAvoy, Associated Press
In this Dec. 15, 2011 photo, a nearly blind, endangered Hawaiian monk seal swims at the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu. Hoailona, also known as KP2, has spent the past two years at a California research lab. He was first rescued when federal officials found him suckling on a rock three days after his mother abandoned him on Kauai. Hawaiian monk seals are so rare and under so many environmental threats that they're on a path to go extinct in 50 to 100 years. As if that wasn't enough, anonymous humans appear to have deliberately killed at least three and maybe four seals on two islands in the past two months.

HONOLULU — Up to $30,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects involved in the recent slayings of three Hawaiian monk seals, whose population is on the brink of extinction.

Desperately seeking to end the mysterious series of killings of the critically endangered species, the state and animal protection groups on Wednesday announced the reward — believed to be the highest ever in Hawaii in a wildlife case.

Two seals were found bludgeoned to death on Molokai, and a slain seal was recently found on Kauai. Up to $10,000 is being offered in each of the killings.

There are only 1,100 Hawaiian monk seals left, and scientists say the species is on course to vanish in 50 to 100 years.

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