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As Lolii prepares for weaning, NOAA experts ready for a key move

The time is nearing for the pups to go on their own.
The time is nearing for the pups to go on their own.(HNN)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 7:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Changes are nearing for the adorable Hawaiian Monk seal pair that has been gracing the Waikiki shoreline the last few weeks.

Monk seal mother Kaiwi’s pup, Lolii, turned six weeks old on Tuesday. NOAA experts say that’s about the time his mom could wean him, and it could happen as early as this week.

They’ve made Oahu’s south shore their temporary resting spot for the last month and a half, attracting crowds of adoring fans.

During that time, Lolii has been learning all the monk seal essentials like swimming and feeding himself.

Marine life experts are planning to relocate him to a more secluded, secret beach in the coming weeks. They say it’s important he’s far away from people during this impressionable time.

“As soon as we’re certain that the pup has been weaned, and that Kaiwi will not be coming back, we will be relocating him to a new home. One where there are far fewer people and far fewer opportunities for human interaction,” Angela Amlin of the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery program with NOAA Fisheries said.

They say the move is best for his own safety and wellbeing.

“It’s challenging enough to keep people from approaching a protective adult female with a pup, but it’s even more challenging when you have a chunky, round, very cute monk seal pup that seems like it’s trying to approach and engage in play behavior,”

Once Lolii is moves, experts will continue to watch over him for the next few months as he expands his range and adjusts.

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