Newborn Hawaiian monk seal prompts reminders to give marine wildlife space

Newborn pup with mom, Kaiwi, on Kaimana Beach. The third seal is an adult male born in 2018 and is also Kaiwi’s son. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

Last week, Hawaiian monk seal, Kaiwi, gave birth to a male pup on Kaimana Beach in Waikiki. This newborn is her sixth, known pup and the third that she’s delivered on this same beach.

Hawaiian monk seals are one of the most endangered species in the world. So, this new birth is definitely happy news.

The following footage shows some of the earliest moments of the newborn and Kaiwi on Kaimana Beach.

Kaimana monk seals, May 1, 2024 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Kaiwi and her pup are likely to return to this same spot to rest and nurse. To protect the mom and baby, the Kaimana area of Waikiki Beach will be monitored over the next five to seven weeks during this critical nursing period. If you see an area of this beach taped/fenced off, this space is designated as a safe space for them.

Please respect the temporary boundaries for the seals. Mother seals will defend their pups from anything they perceive as a threat. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends keeping a distance of 150 feet (45 meters) from a mom and pup both on the beach and in the ocean. This distance is not only for the seals’ safety but for your safety, too. In 2022, there was an incident of a mother seal attacking a swimmer at Kaimana Beach.

Don’t be this person who approached a solo monk seal and made the news. (See our article.)

Here is a brief but helpful video about what you can do as a visitor to respect and protect Hawaii’s marine life in general.

In addition to monk seals, check out our article of other wildlife you might see in Hawaii.

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