Beachgoers urged to keep distance from monk seal and her pup in Waikiki

Updated: Apr. 27, 2021 at 4:22 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaiian monk seal pup came into the world Monday at Kaimana Beach ― and beachgoers are being urged to keep their distance.

After the birth, wildlife experts quickly responded and blocked the area off.

NOAA Fisheries said the Hawaiian monk seal that gave birth is identified as RK96 or Kaiwi.

“NOAA and partners are responding to the situation, and ask that the public please give mother and pup plenty of space and avoid disturbing them in order to ensure the mother remains with her pup, and the pup gets the nutrition it needs to develop properly,” NOAA said, in a statement.

“The public should also be aware that mother seals can be very protective of their young and are more likely to exhibit territorial behavior with a pup. For their safety and yours, please stay behind any fencing or signs and listen carefully to the instructions of officials on site.”

According to the Marine Mammal Center, Hawaiian monk seals are usually born at around 35 pounds and 3 feet long. A newborn typically nurses with its mother for about one month.

This story will be updated.

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