PO’IPU—It’s gone.The Hawaiian monk seal pup born that was born July 6 at
Po’ipu Beach Park and became a celebrity to Kaua’i residents and visitors has
been relocated to another beach on the island.
Brad Ryon, a marine
biologist who helped monitor the pup’s progress, said its mother gradually
weaned the pup and left it for good Sunday. Early Monday, the pup was moved to
a secluded spot protected from rough surf.
Ryon said the location is being
kept secret to protect the pup, but volunteers continue to keep an eye on
Officials and volunteer monitors had expected the mother’s departure
since last Thursday, when the standard six-month nursing period ended. After
that, mother seals leave their offspring.
By occupying a popular beach, the
Po’ipu pair gave the public a rare closeup of the beginning of a Hawaiian monk
seal’s life and a mother-pup relationship. The National Marine Fisheries
Service closed parts of the beach to humans and dogs to keep the seals safe.
The seals, an endangered species, are rarely seen among the main Hawaiian
islands. But this year, three were born on Kaua’i, including one just a few
weeks old that remains with its mother at Maha’ulepu. Another was born on
The Associated Press contributed to this report.