Beachgoers in Hawaii are being urged to give space to monk seal Kaiwi and her pup to ensure their safety and well-being. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, with only an estimated 1,400 remaining in the wild.
Here’s what you need to know about Kaiwi and her pup, and how you can help protect them.
Who is Kaiwi and her pup?
Kaiwi is a 10-year-old female monk seal who gave birth to her first pup in late January on a beach in Waikiki. The pup, a male, was named Kaimana by local school children. Kaiwi is one of only a few monk seals that regularly give birth on Oahu.
Why is it important to give them space?
Monk seals are easily disturbed by human activity and can become stressed or aggressive if they feel threatened. It’s important to give Kaiwi and her pup plenty of space to rest, nurse, and bond. Interacting with the seals can also be dangerous for humans, as they have sharp teeth and can move surprisingly quickly on land.
How can you help protect them?
Beachgoers are encouraged to keep a safe distance from Kaiwi and her pup. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends staying at least 50 feet away from the seals at all times. It’s also important not to touch, feed, or attempt to take photos with the seals.
If you see someone violating these guidelines, you can report it to NOAA’s hotline at 1-888-256-9840. You can also help spread the word about the importance of protecting monk seals by sharing this information with friends and family.
Kaiwi and her pup are a rare and valuable part of Hawaii’s natural heritage, and it’s up to all of us to help ensure their safety and well-being. By giving them plenty of space and respecting their natural habitat, we can help protect these endangered marine mammals for generations to come.