Afternoon with a Monk Seal

Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals on Kauai’s Napali Coast

During my recent trip to the Napali Coast in Hawaii I camped out on the Kalalau beach with Darcy Ottey. One afternoon, after a walk in the jungle, we returned to the beach to discover an endangered Hawaiian monk seal had hauled out on the beach. We watched it for several hours before it returned to the ocean during an evening downpour. A few weeks later the New York Times ran a really interesting article, “Who would kill a monk seal?” by Jon Mooallem which explores the complex history and current situation around the conservation of this species, endemic to the Hawaiian island chain.

_MG_5462 An endangered Hawaiian monk seal sleeps on a remote beach on Kauai.
Apparently the world can be overwhelming, even for creatures that spend much of their time lounging on the beach in Hawaii.
Hawaiian monk seal turning around While very graceful in the water, monk seals move awkwardly on land where they are vulnerable to harassment or worse from humans.

Hawaiian monk seal turning

Hawaiian monk seal heading back to the ocean.
Swimming Hawaiian monk seal Once in the water, monk seals can move more easily.

Hawaiian monk seal and rainbow.

 Check out more photos of this monk seal and the Hawaiian islands here or more conservation oriented photographs here!

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