Kaimana, the Hawaiian monk seal pup officially known as PO3, will be moved to a “remote, undisclosed shoreline area” so she can grow up wild and with less human interaction than she’s having in Waikiki, state officials announced today.
“The determination was made that the risks of leaving this now famous seal in place are too great,” Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Suzanne Case said in a statement. “The team considered a number of factors and the risks of leaving ‘Kaimana’ at her natal beach outweighed the risks of relocating her.”
At least three times — including Monday night — Kaimana has swum nearby into the dilapidated Waikiki Natatorium pool, which has “unseen, underwater hazards,” according to DLNR.
Robert Farrell, chief of DLNR’s enforcement officers, said, “This decision to relocate is not made lightly, as there are human-caused dangers elsewhere too, not the least of which is illegal unattended lay gill nets that have caused the sad drownings of four seals in recent years. We know lay gill nets are a real problem for monk seals, turtles and other animals that all too frequently get entangled in them and die because they can’t breathe. We ask everyone to help us be extra-vigilant in reporting these dangers through our new app, DLNRtip or by calling the DOCARE hotline at 643-DLNR.”