Volunteers from the Hawaii Marine Animal Response are watching over another Hawaiian monk seal pup, PO9, born on Oahu.
The pup was born Aug. 3 to monk seal R016, known to many as “Right Spot” on the north side of Oahu, according to HMAR.
It is Right Spot’s 13th pup, and the first time she has given birth to a pup on Oahu, HMAR said in a Facebook post. Typically, she returns to her own birthplace of Molokai to birth her pups.
HMAR said in the coming weeks, the nonprofit will work with a school in the area to gift the pup with a name using traditional Hawaiian practices. HMAR recently worked with Waikiki Elementary students to gift Rocky’s pup, PO8, with the name Koalani, or heavenly warrior.
Another pup born earlier this summer on Oahu, PO6, has been transported to The Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola hospital for monk seals in Kailua-Kona due to malnutrition.
Students from Malama Honua Charter School have named the pup Malama, which means light, month or moon.
Ke Kai Ola has admitted Malama, who weaned from her mother underweight and undersized, into its care after she was found at Manana Island, where she was born on June 6. The female monk seal pup is currently in stable condition, the center said.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are reminding the public to remain 150 feet from mom-and-pup pairs both on land and in water to ensure the animals are not disturbed.
The public should also stay behind borders set up by volunteers to protect resting seals, and follow posted signage. For those taking photos, NOAA recommends using the zoom, and to move back if mom and pup can hear your camera.
Rocky’s pup, Koalani, continues to nurse, gain weight, and explore his surroundings at Kaimana Beach behind a protective cordon of 150 feet enforced round-the-clock by state Division of Resources and Conservation Resources officers. He is expected to wean soon.