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Endangered Hawaiian monk seal gives birth in Waikiki

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    A Hawaiian monk seal and her newborn pup on a Waikiki beach in Honolulu today.

An endangered Hawaiian monk seal that usually has pups on the less congested island of Kauai decided to have its latest on a crowded beach at Kaimana beach in Waikiki, delighting of scores of visitors.

If all goes well, the mother is expected to nurse the pup on the beach for about 40 days, and the pup could spend several additional weeks on the beach or nearby coastal areas preparing for a longer journey in the ocean, officials said.

“It’s pretty awesome, especially seeing an endangered species,” said Allison Lapkowicz of West Virginia, who is honeymooning with her husband, Jeff.

Rhode Island resident Mary Madden said, “We’ve been to Hawaii and never seen a monk seal. … It’s fantastic.”

Federal and state officials warn the public to give the two a wide berth because a Hawaiian monk seal mother with a pups is protective and could attack if someone gets too close.

Officials also want to provide a comfortable space for the mother so that she does not abandon the pup.

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