50-yard boundary in place to protect monk seal pup and mom in wake of recent attack
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The DLNR announced Wednesday it will be enforcing a 50-yard cordon around Hawaiian monk seal Rocky and her pup at Kaimana Beach.
Starting Thursday morning, state conservation officers will block off the area to keep people away at the busy beach.
Officials said the government operation is meant to protect public safety and the monk seals.
According to the department, the more than three-week-long presence of Rocky and her pup continues to lead to calls for beach closures, citations, and stepped-up outreach, education, and enforcement.
Law enforcement will be there 24-hours a day until the pup weans in about three weeks, officials said.
They are also warning the public once again to keep their distance.
Just two weeks ago, a 60-year-old woman suffered minor injuries after she was bitten by the protective mother seal.
“Awareness and safe behavior is of critical importance,” said DLNR Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla.
Redulla added, “Government agencies have maintained both official and volunteer presence and signage since the pup’s birth, but these have failed to deter a number of people from approaching the monk seals, creating a dangerous situation.”
Officials said it’s expected both Rocky and her pup will move to another area after weaning and encounters will be much less of a concern.
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