50-yard boundary: Officers protecting mother seal and her baby from beachgoers

Officials in Hawaii said they are setting a 50-yard boundary to protect a mother seal and her baby after a recent attack. (Source: Hawaii News Now)
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 5:31 PM EDT
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HONOLULU (Hawaii News Now/Gray News) - Hawaii officials are enforcing a 50-yard boundary around a monk seal named Rocky and her pup at Kaimana Beach.

Starting this week, state conservation officers said they would block off the area to keep people away from the two to keep everyone safe.

Officials with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said the government operation is meant to protect the public and the seals.

Hawaii News Now reports last month, a 60-year-old woman suffered minor injuries after the protective mother seal bit her.

According to the department, Rocky and her pup have been at the beach for nearly a month.

Law enforcement said officers will monitor the mother and her baby 24 hours a day until the pup weans in about three weeks. They are also warning the public once again to keep their distance.

“Awareness and safe behavior are critically important,” said Jason Redulla, with the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources. “Agencies have maintained a presence and signage since the pup’s birth, but these have failed to deter a number of people from approaching the seals, which has created a dangerous situation.”

Officials said it’s expected that Rocky and her pup will move to another area after weaning, and encounters will be much less of a concern then.

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