Hawaii in Review: The (Very) Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal

The Hawaiian Monk Seal is a critically endangered marine animal that is native to the Hawaiian Islands. I knew that this kind of seal existed long before my arrival on the island of Moloka’i, but I never thought that I’d get the chance to actually see one of these rare beauties in person. With numbers dwindling to around 1,000 in recent years, my sighting of this seal meant that I was observing just about .1% of the worlds entire population of HMC. Actually, I was lucky enough to spot a second seal (of much larger size) a few weeks later, so I’ve been honored with the chance to observe .2% of the world population. Anyway, I had heard that this kind of seal in particular is very trusting and in some cases will even let humans pet it! This is against the law, so I kept my distance, allowing the zoom on my camera to move me in closer. I made sure to shout when I spotted it in the distance, I wanted it to be well aware of my presence. When it did finally respond to my clapping and shouting, it glanced up at me briefly, but then went right back to sunbathing. It didn’t even mind when I walked behind and around it. You can see how trusting these animals are of people. This likely contributes to their status as endangered animals. Take a look at my approach:

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About mattylife

"And no one is a stranger...for long."
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One Response to Hawaii in Review: The (Very) Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal

  1. Larry M. Litwin says:

    Beautiful animal and so cute. It lookes like it rolled over like a puppy and was saying “rub my belly, rub my belly”.

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