3 monk seals found dead on Oahu in the last week

3 monk seals found dead on Oahu in the last week
Ua Malie previously seen resting with her pup on a beach. (Image: Nate Yuen/Facebook)
This map shows the location the seals were found. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
This map shows the location the seals were found. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - NOAA officials are stressing the importance of reporting monk seal sightings following the discovery of three dead seals around Oahu this week.

The first dead monk seal was discovered Tuesday. NOAA officials say RK60 was found floating offshore in Kaneohe Bay.

The second discovery was made in Laie on Wednesday when a female pup was found dead. A day later, an adult female seal was found dead in Kahuku. That seal has been identified as Ua Malie, and is believed to be the dead pup's mother.

On all three seals, officials conducted examinations to determine the cause of death.

They say the deaths don't appear to be suspicious, but are a strange and sad coincidence.

"Decomposition limited the definitive conclusions that could be drawn from the post-mortem exams but at this time we do not have any reason to associate these deaths with a trend, pattern, or common threat," NOAA said.

The deaths served as a reminder to the public to report monk seal sightings so the health of seals can be tracked.

"It appears that one of the seals, RK60, may have been observed 'logging' (floating listlessly) in Kaneohe Bay in the days leading up to the discovery of her body.  This logging behavior can be a symptom of a sick seal," NOAA said. "Reports of this behavior did not reach NOAA until after RK60 died, but more timely reporting may have given NOAA a chance to intervene and help her."

To report monk seal sightings, healthy or injured, you're asked to call 220-7802 on Oahu and 888-256-9840 on neighbor islands.

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