HONOLULU (KHON2) — Federal and state officials are investigating the sixth Hawaiian monk seal death on Molokai this year, calling it an “unprecedented number” for the island.
The young female seal was found dead on the south shore of Molokai on Sunday, Sept. 19. A temporary bleach mark on her side helped officials identify her as “L11,” one of the pups born on the island last year.
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The carcass of L11 was sent to Oahu where it is currently frozen, as COVID-19 conditions prevent NOAA Fisheries from doing an immediate post-mortem exam. A spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries explained that there are less on-site activities at the Inouye Regional Center (IRC) as an effort to minimize coronavirus transmission risk. An exam will be conducted as soon as possible.
Law enforcement officers from the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) and the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) are investigating this case.
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Anyone with information is asked to call NOAA/OLE at 800-853-1964 or the DOCARE hotline at 643-DLNR.