A female Hawaiian monk seal paid a visit to the shores of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve early this morning, which was a rare occurrence, according to state officials. It could not be confirmed whether the seal was Rocky, the female that gave birth to Kaimana this summer.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources reported that the seal was spotted swimming parallel to the beach prior to hauling out on the sand on the left side of the beach at about 6:50 a.m. Typically, the monk seals haul out on to the rocky tidal shelves flanking both sides of the popular snorkeling spot.
The Hawaii Marine Animal Response team arrived to set up caution signs around the seal as she rested behind caution cones. She departed back for the open ocean at about 9 a.m.
DLNR reminds the public that the endangered seals are protected by both federal and state laws, and that the public should keep a safe distance from seals resting on the beach.