HONOLULU (KHON2) – Rocky, the monk seal’s, newest pup has been named after his independence and curiosity. 

Fourth graders at Waikiki Elementary School named the monk seal pup Koalani heavenly warrior because the keiki thought he was very independent and liked going to places by himself. 

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Milena Peroff is a fourth grader at Waikiki Elementary and said she and her peers brainstormed names to come up with and that one was the winner. 

“And it turns out it meant heavenly warrior! And we thought warrior was right, because he’s independent and that’s pretty much all,” said Milena.

Bolt Nakatani is also a fourth grader at Waikiki Elementary School and said he finds it cool that they named the pup and can watch it grow up. 

“I think that is very cool saying that when we grow up,” said Bolt. “The seal will be grown up and maybe that will be have more pups and then if our kids go to Waikiki school, they’ll be able to name that pup.”

Rocky gave birth to Hawaii’s eighth pup in 2022 on Kaimana Beach on July 9 according to Emily Greene with Hawaii Marine Animal Response.

“This has been a really, really exciting process for us and for the students,” said Greene. “We haven’t actually worked with Waikiki Elementary to gift a pup a name yet, so it was a really fun experience for everyone.”

Greene said Koalani will be given his permanent ID after Rocky weans which they are expecting to happen in the next few weeks. 

“From that point on, he’ll be tagged, and he’ll have a permanent ID,” said Greene. “There will be a permanent ID for him, so Koalani is the name, meaning heavenly warrior.”

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Beach goers are reminded to keep your distance and state law enforcement officers will be patrolling 24/7.