Hawaiian Monk Seals Protected by Dedicated Volunteer

DB Dunlap
DB Dunlap

SANDY BEACH (KHNL) -- Hawaiian monk seals are extremely endangered marine mammals. One dedicated Oahu resident works daily, without pay, to protect the species.

Hawaiian monk seals are one of the most endangered animal species in the world.

"The one thing that I know about monk seals is, I don't know anything about monk seals, and the more I know, the less I know," said volunteer DB Dunlap.

DB Dunlap is leading the way to protect these fragile seals, with countless hours of volunteer work.

For the past seven years, from sunrise to sunset, he researches the Hawaiian monk seal population on Oahu's beaches.

"The main thing you need out here in the monk seal world is a good set of binoculars so you don't have to get too close to the animals," DB said.

DB tells people to stay at least 150 feet away from a beached seal. When an animal is spotted, volunteers, who call themselves the Monk Seal Possee, call the hotline, and DB is on the way.

"Every time you go out on one of the monk seal hotline calls, it's just this fascinating little thing, to figure out who it is your gonna see," DB Said.

He puts up signs and ropes off the area then educates beachgoers about the animals.

"The very first question 100% of the time is always 'is it dead?' You can spend all day with a monk seal at the beach and maybe never see it move," He said.

DB says if you spot a monk seal, call the hotline.

But no matter how cute it may look, never attempt to touch one.