State: Keep your distance from nursing monk seal at Kaimana Beach

State: Keep your distance from nursing monk seal at Kaimana Beach
(Image: NOAA)

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - State officials are urging beachgoers to keep their distance from a nursing Hawaiian monk seal and her pup in Waikiki.

The seal could become aggressive in coming days, officials warn.

It's rare for a monk seal to give birth and nurse in Waikiki, and the area around the seal has been blocked off.

"Hawaiian monk seals are for the most part docile, but as with any other wild animals, females protecting their young can be highly aggressive," said David Schofield of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

So far, there have been no incidents of trespassers on the beach that's blocked off.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources officials have asked the public to give the seals ample room and not fly drones within 1,000 feet of any marine animal, as it is illegal.

The group's president, Jon Gelman, said great responsibility comes along with the rare opportunity to see the monk seal.

"That privilege comes with the responsibility to view the animals from a safe distance, and to give this seal mom and pup the opportunity to peacefully coexist with us on our beach and in our waters," Gelman said, in a news release.

Rocky is the second monk seal sighting on Oahu this summer. Another pair beached on Moku Nui, just off the windward cost last month.

Since then, the DLNR worked with NOAA to create informational videos to keep the public safe around the endangered animals.

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