HONOLULU (KHON2) — Monk seals in Hawaiʻi are very special. They are a federally protected species that is endangered. So, when a pup is born, everyone is excited.
Hawaiian monk seal Rocky made another appearance at Kaimana Beach on Thursday, May 18; and she stopped by to say ‘hello’ to Kaiwi and her new pup Pualani.
Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8
According to Hawai‘i Marine Animal Response, Kaimana Beach is a regular “haul-out” location for Rocky. This means that this spot is her go-to location for many reasons.
One reason, said HMAR, is the possibility of giving birth; although her being at Kaimana Beach doesn’t necessarily mean she is pregnant and ready to give birth — though confirmation on this is also unknown as well.
At around 8:30 a.m., KHON2 News’s 24/7 livestream of Kaiwi spotted the three swimming together.
The monk seals then made their way to shore and basked under the sun near each other for a couple of hours. By around 10:40 a.m., they swam off together.
Kaiwi welcomed her newest pup to the world on April 14; and on May 15, the pup was gifted her official name, Pualani. The name was chosen by teachers and students from Waikīkī Elementary School.
The last time a pup was born at Kaimana Beach was when Rocky gave birth to Lehiwa in September of 2022.
Most of Kaimana Beach has been blocked off to protect the monk seals, but you still have the chance to watch them through the 24/7 KHON2 News monk seal livestream that follows Kaiwi and her little Pualani.
And a reminder that there are guidelines for viewing marine wildlife in Hawaii:
- View from a distance. Use binoculars or your camera’s zoom for a close-up.
- Do not disturb sea turtles or monk seals sleeping on the beach.
- Never touch, chase, or feed. Animals are wild, unpredictable, and protected.
- Limit viewing time to a few minutes.
- Never swim with spinner dolphins—they rest and nurture their young during the day.
- View dolphins and whales from a boat or from shore.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
It is important for visitors to understand that Hawaiian monk seals are not to be disturbed. They are not for selfies.
So, go out and enjoy the views responsibility and don’t forget to follow the rules.