This past weekend, an endangered Hawaiian monk seal with a newborn pup harmed a swimmer at a Waikiki beach.
Hawaii (AP) — This past weekend, a swimmer in Waikiki was hurt after coming into contact with a newborn pup of an endangered Hawaiian monk seal.
The mother monk seal known as Rocky came into touch with a swimmer on Sunday morning, according to Hawaii Marine Animal Response, a nonprofit organisation that helps monitor protected species.
The victim is a California-born elementary school teacher, 60, according to a statement from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. According to the agency, the woman suffered injuries to her face, arm, and back.
The woman sought anonymity, so state officials said they would not propose bringing charges against or fining her.
The seal gave birth to a pup on Kaimana Beach in Waikiki, close to where the swimmer was hurt, according to a statement from the Hawaii Marine Animal Response.
In addition to advising people to avoid the couple, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Hawaii Marine Animal Response have been keeping an eye on them.
Monk seals cannot be touched, bothered, hurt, or killed without breaking the law. Although it is not required, it is advised that people keep at least 150 feet (46 metres) away from a mother seal and her pup.
Beachgoers are cautioned about the risks of approaching a nursing mother seal too closely as the area around the seals’ home is cordoned off.
According to the organization’s statement, “We ask individuals to kindly follow the directions and instructions offered by HMAR, NOAA, Ocean Safety, or other authorised parties on the beach.” They claimed that EMS was used to transport the swimmer.
The Honolulu Emergency Services Department did not immediately respond to a message left with them.
The incident is still being looked at by NOAA Fisheries. However, in a statement sent by email to The Associated Press, the organisation urged people to “consider using alternate places for water activities while moms with pups are in the area” because “mother seals can move quite quickly in the water.”
They urged people must heed warnings and instructions from authorities as these seals are expected to stay in the area for nearly a month.
Disturbing monk seals, of whom fewer than 1,600 are still found in the wild, is a crime. The Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act both categorise the creatures as depleted and endangered, respectively.
The public is once more warned that Hawaiian monk seal mothers with pups are watchful, dangerous, and have caused significant injuries on surrounding swimmers “According to Hawaii Marine Animal Response. “We continue to advise people to keep a safe distance of at least 150 feet from mother seals with pups and to refrain from participating in any water-related activities when they are nearby.
A witness provided The Honolulu Star-Advertiser with video of the interaction. The mother seal and her pup are captured on camera swimming beside the swimmer. The swimmer is then grabbed by the seal, who drags them underwater.
With assistance from onlookers, the individual managed to return to land.
According to Markus Faigle, who recorded the incident on camera and told the Star-Advertiser, “It’s a mama seal that’s guarding her kid, and there just so happens to be a human that is at the wrong position at the wrong time.” So, it’s not a seal attacking a human, in my opinion; that’s the wrong way to look at it.