State officials say a video of monk seal “Rocky” on Kaimana Beach protecting her pup from a nearby male monk seal should serve as a caution to ocean-goers to stay clear of Waikiki’s latest residents.
Rocky and her pup, nicknamed “Kaimana,” are spending more time in the water and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources officials are urging the public to use extreme caution in the area.
They released a recent video of Rocky, who was with the pup in the water, charging into a male monk seal who swam too close for mom’s comfort.
“Seals are wild animals that can move very quickly in the water,” Kekoa Kaluhiwa, DLNR’s first deputy director, said in a news release. “Mother seal RH58, also known as ‘Rocky,’ has already demonstrated natural protective behavior toward her pup when she recently charged a male seal. She may bite if she perceives a threat.”
The mother seal may view people as a threat to her pup, which was born on the beach earlier this month, DLNR officials said.
With the mom and pup becoming more active, state, city and federal officials are urging people to stay out of the water between the Outrigger Canoe Club and the Waikiki Natatorium. Beach-goers “should remain extra vigilant of the seals’ location and attentive for lifeguard warnings as they may only have a few seconds to get to safety,” DLNR officials said in the news release.
They said Rocky is expected to wean Kaimana over the next month then leave the area to forage. They remind the public that monk seals are an endangered species and anyone caught disturbing or harming them are subject to fines up to $50,000 and a year in prison.