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‘Honey Girl’ the monk seal has died after gracing shorelines for over 20 years

Crews worked to move the body of R5AY, "Honey Girl."
Crews worked to move the body of R5AY, "Honey Girl."(DLNR)
Updated: Apr. 24, 2020 at 4:35 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A beloved monk seal affectionately known as ‘Honey Girl’ has died.

The DLNR says for over 20 years, Honey Girl has been a delight for onlookers while she rested on beaches and birthed at least a dozen monk seal pups on Oahu and Kauai beaches.

NOAA fisheries personnel were alerted to her death on Thursday. She was found dead on a windward Oahu beach.

The cause of her death isn’t yet known. DOCARE officers assisted in bringing the monk seal’s body to Kualoa Ranch for a burial, where a Hawaiian blessing was performed.

“We are deeply saddened that Honey Girl, one of the most iconic representatives of her entire endangered native endemic Hawaiian species, will no longer grace beaches around Oahu. Her legacy calls for our collective respect and care for all our Hawaiian monk seals," DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said.

Officials added that toxoplasmosis, a disease spread by feral cats, is often among the leading causes of deaths for Hawaiian monk seals. Toxoplasmosis was the cause of death of two seals so far in 2020.

Ocean pollution and stray nets also poses a choke hazard to the seals and other ocean creatures.

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