‘A Monk Seal’s World’

LIHUE — Tuesday will offer an opportunity for local residents to view new footage of Hawaiian monk seals in their natural habitat.

“This is a chance to see what monk seals do underwater through their own eyes,” Rachel Sprague, the assistant Hawaiian monk seal recovery coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wrote in an email.

Presented by the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program and National Geographic, the event begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Grand Hyatt Resort in Poipu.

Charles Littnan, an HMSRP scientist, will lead the presentation and share the highlight of the evening, a first viewing of 10-15 minutes of new Crittercam footage recorded in conjunction with National Geographic.

Those who attend will see the underwater world the seals see as they forage for food, according to the release.

“Dr. Littnan will also explore the most significant truths and falsehoods behind the misconceptions about our endemic seals,” the release states. “It’s a terrific opportunity for everyone to learn and share more about the seals and their behavior.”

Guests will include Greg Marshall and Kyler Abernathy of National Geographic’s Remote Imaging program.

As the creator of Crittercam, Marshall will briefly explain the history and use of the instrument and its application in this study.

He and Abernathy are also recording an unusual video project for National Geographic, which not only includes just the Crittercam footage but also video interviews with people who may wish to speak with them, pro or con, about Hawaiian monk seals.

“This is a unique evening where all are welcome,” the release states. “We will come together and share knowledge of Hawaiian monk seals in an atmosphere of kindness and respect.”

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