04/17/18 – Monk Seal Pup Spotted Playing With A Discarded Knife; People Reminded to Properly Dispose of Debris

Posted on Apr 17, 2018 in Aquatic Resources, DOCARE, News Releases, slider

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
News Release

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR
SUZANNE D. CASE
CHAIRPERSON

For Immediate News Release April 17, 2018


MONK SEAL PUP SPOTTED PLAYING WITH A DISCARDED KNIFE
People Reminded to Properly Dispose of Debris

(HONOLULU) – Had it been something other than a sharp fishing knife perhaps the video would have been endearing?  A Hawaiian monk seal pup named Manu‘iwa recently weaned from its mother on a Hawai‘i Island beach.  Staff from Ke Kai Ola, a hospital operated by The Marine Mammal Center at Kailua-Kona and officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) have been monitoring the pup’s health and growth.  Back to the knife.  Last Sunday the people observing the seal spotted it playing with a bright orange object in its mouth. As they watched the seal dive beneath near-shore rocks and come back up they realized Manu‘iwa was holding a knife in its mouth by its handle. The DOCARE officer who captured the incident on video tape commented, “There was real concern that the seal pup might swallow the knife.  It’s a reminder to all of us to properly dispose of our trash and not to leave it on Hawai‘i’s beaches or in the ocean.”  At one point the seal dropped the knife under the rocks and it was later retrieved.

Animal experts say that it’s critical for young seals not to have human interactions so they can learn to be wild animals, especially after they’ve weaned from their moms and are on their own. 

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Fisheries asks people to report all monk seal sightings to your island’s  Marine Mammal Response Coordinator:

  Oahu: 808-220-7802
  Kauai: 808-651-7668
  Molokai: 808-553-5555
  Maui / Lanai: 808-292-2372
  Hawaii Island – East: 808-756-5961
  Hawaii Island – West: 808-987-0765

MEDIA CONTACT

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 131
Honolulu, HI  96813

[email protected]

Dan.w.de[email protected]

(808) 587-0407 (Office)
(808) 295-8749 (Cell)

www.dlnr.hawaii.gov