Monk seal pup Kaimana leaves for new home
August 22, 2017 | 78° | Check Traffic

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Monk seal pup Kaimana leaves for new home

  • JIM BORG/ JBORG@STARA.ADVERTISER.COM

    Federal wildlife officials and volunteers removed monk seal pup Kaimana from Sans Souci Beach in Waikiki this morning.

Kaimana the monk seal was swept off to her new home this morning with only a few barks of protest.

She sounded a bit like Chewbacca in “Star Wars.”

A team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including many long-time volunteers in blue shirts, assembled before dawn at Kaimana Beach, with the sky turning gray over Diamond Head.

First problem: No seal.

Kaimana was MIA.

Around 7 a.m., she was spotted frolicking in the water.

The team split up, not knowing whether she would beach at Kaimana or the Outrigger Canoe Club.

Ultimately, she waddled ashore at Kaimana, her birth place, not far from the lifeguard stand.

A crowd of perhaps 100 documented the event on cell phone cameras.

In what was clearly a well-orchestrated operation, NOAA team members hurried down and enfolded the seal in a ropelike hammock. Then they hauled her up and put her in a cage in the back of a heavy-duty pickup.

“Wraa!” Kaimana said. “Wraa!”

“Good-bye, Kaimana,” one bystander said.

And off she went.

NOAA officials, who took time to explain everything to the crowd, said Kaimana would be better off growing up among other monk seals rather than among humans.

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