Scores flock to Waikiki for a rare sight: A nursing monk seal and her adorable pup

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's been a little more than a week since an endangered Hawaiian monk seal gave birth at one of Oahu's busiest beaches.

Now, Rocky's pup is starting to venture out.

And marine mammal experts are warning beachgoers that mother seals can be very protective over their young. They say the older the pup gets, the farther it will venture into the water and they say nursing mothers will will attack anything they see as a threat.

"This is definitely a privilege for the public to see this event because it is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world," said Hawaii Marine Animal Response President Jon Gelman. "To have the opportunity to see one here on a public beach like this us definitely a privilege and that privilege however comes with responsibilities."

Lifeguards, federal agencies, and volunteers are working closely together to make sure Rocky and her pup are safe and are kept away from people, which can be challenge at a busy beach.

There is now netting up at Kaimana Beach and buoys in the water. Wildlife officials say it's to protect the endangered species and people.

"We know that monk seals are for the most part, very docile animals, they are style very wild animals and like with anything else in the animal kingdom or wild kingdom, if you get between a mother and a pup of a monk seal, you run the risk of being endangered for your own personal safety," said David Schofield, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Rocky gave birth at her favorite Waikiki beach last week Thursday.

Officials say it's the first time a Hawaiian monk seal has given birth at Kaimana Beach in recent decades.

People from all over the island have traveled to see her and her young.

"I'm a retired marine diver, Navy diver, so we would see them in the water all the time, but never that close," said Alfredo Garcia.

For the most part, monk seals are sweet and submissive.

But experts say mother monk seals are known to attack if people come too close and the safety zone will keep getting bigger.

That's why they're asking people to stay back, listen to lifeguards and volunteers, and admire from a far.

Officials say there has been reports of a lot of drone use over Rocky and her pup. They want to remind the public it is against federal law to fly a drone less than 1,000 feet over a marine mammal.

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