HONOLULU (AP) – State and federal authorities plan to move a newborn Hawaiian monk seal away from congested Waikiki so it can remain a wild animal and won’t become accustomed to interacting with people.
National Marine Fisheries Service Regional Marine Mammal Response Coordinator David Schofield said Tuesday officials will take the seal shortly after it is weaned. He says they’ll move it to a remote, undisclosed part of Oahu island.
Schofield says officials have moved newly weaned seals from other areas popular with people in the past, like Poipu (poy-POO’) on Kauai.
Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species. There are only 1,400 remaining in the wild.
The seal’s mother gave birth in late June. It was the first seal born in the popular tourist district since record-keeping began a few decades ago.
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