An endangered monk seal mother and her pup are getting plenty of safety on Kaimana Beach in Hawaii, including 24-hour police protection and a fence to keep the public out.
According to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, officials closed the beach after the seal and her pup went ashore to nurse.
The department said “a temporary fence has been erected” to protect the seal and its newborn, and tourists “are directed to use other areas”. There will also be a 24-hour police presence on the beach to protect the seals, Jason Redulla, division chief for conservation and enforcement, said at a news conference.
The protection will remain active during the seals’ lactation period, which lasts between five and seven weeks, the authorities added.
The department also shared some photos of the seals on Facebook, including one of the pups nursing and cuddling in the sand. One photo shows a sign on the temporary fence warning civilians to interact with the seal or its pup.
Monk seals, especially mothers, are considered “very protective of their pups” and have a history of aggressive behavior towards swimmers, authorities said.
The Hawaiian monk seal is considered one of the most endangered seal species in the world, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with an estimated population of just 1,570 individuals. Habitat loss, predation, and human interference have all contributed to endanger the seal.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.