Rocky, the Hawaiian monk seal who last year gave birth on Waikiki Beach, returned to a more-isolated site to give birth today to her 11th pup.
The nonprofit Hawaii Marine Mammal Alliance posted on Facebook this morning that both mom and pup appear to be doing well at a remote Kauai location.
“Everyone was holding their breath because this experienced seal mom gave birth right on Waikiki Beach last year causing a worldwide news event,” said the post by alliance’s Hawaii Marine Animal Response team. “We’re glad she is back to her usual birthing island of Kauai where she has given birth to nine other pups.”
The gender of Rocky’s newest pup remains unknown.
On Friday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials announced that Rocky was expected to give birth again over the weekend. NOAA officials reminded the public to give Hawaiian monk seal moms and pups plenty of space and not to swim near them because the former can be very protective.
Last year, Rocky gave birth to a monk seal pup on the crowded Kaimana Beach in Waikiki, which generated intense interest from visitors and residents and received widespread media attention.
NOAA officials eventually relocated the pup, nicknamed Kaimana, to another location after she was weaned, for safety reasons. Previous to last year, Rocky gave birth to nine pups on Kauai.