Meet ‘Pualani’ — the monk seal pup who’s been leaving everybody awe-struck

Pualani means “heavenly flower.”
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 7:55 AM HST|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 11:08 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The monk seal pup born on Waikiki’s Kaimana Beach finally has a name: Pualani.

Pualani means “heavenly flower.”

It’s all thanks to some kindergarteners and fourth graders at Waikiki Elementary School who named the new monk seal pup.

They say the name is based on several factors, including genealogy, birth location, date and the moon.

Pualani who hasn’t yet been weened from mom Kaiwi, is now one month old.

This is the second pup the 12-year-old monk seal has had at the popular beach. She gave birth to the monk seal known as Lolii back in 2021, and this is her fifth pup in total.

Following the birth of a new pup, the Hawaii Marine Animal Response roped off an area of the beach to serve as a seal nursery.

NOAA and HMAR will have team members on the beach every day to provide information about the mom and pup.

The public is reminded that mother seals are very protective of their young and onlookers should keep at least 150 feet of space between themselves and the animals on land and in the water.

Beachgoers are also reminded to keep their dogs on a leash.

NOAA expects the pair to remain together at Kaimana Beach for about five to seven weeks. Officials advise the public to use other nearby beaches during this nursing period.

Hawaiian monk seals are an endangered species, with fewer than 1,600 individuals left. They are native to Hawaii and are found nowhere else in the world.