HONOLULU (KHON2) — A couple of Kaimana Beach’s most popular residents are getting ready to move.
Monk seal Kaiwi will soon be weaning her pup Lōli’i.
She will leave him behind to fend for himself after that happens, and that is when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will step in to move him to a less populated beach.
They say Lōli’i will be the most impressionable during that time, and they do not want him to become conditioned to humans.
“Young pups, if they’re reinforced with attention from humans early on, then that’s what they know and that’s what they’ll try to seek out. So at this age that may not necessarily pose a risk, but as it gets bigger, when you got a 500-pound animal that wants to interact with someone, monk seals can… they have bit onto dive fins and pull people down. They will wrap their flippers around and drop like a stone.”Angela Amlin, NOAA monk seal recovery coordinatior
Lōli’i will be fitted with flipper tags so he is easy to identify, and if possible, a satellite tag so officials can track his movement. The location that he will be moved to will remain a secret.