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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 6, 2001

Third monk seal pup born on Kaua'i

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser KauaÎi Bureau

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — A third Hawaiian monk seal has been born on a Kaua'i and appears healthy.

State aquatic biologist Don Heacock said the pup was born about three weeks on a beach near Anahola but was only discovered in recent days.

Meanwhile, the second pup, born six weeks ago on the sand at popular Po'ipu Beach Park, should be weaned at any time.

The first pup of the season was weaned earlier in the year at a North Shore beach.

Heacock said warning signs have been placed around the coastline where the Anahola pup and its mother are, but no signs have been placed on roads leading to the area.

Wildlife officials are not identifying the exact location to avoid human interaction with the endangered animals.

One man was bitten and others chased away this summer by the protective mother seal at Po'ipu Beach, resulting in the closing of that beach and the neighboring Waiohai Beach.

That pup was expected to be weaned this week, meaning its mother would abandon it to fend for itself.

Wildlife officials are expected to move the pup to a more remote location, as they did with another pup born to the same mother at Po'ipu last year.

County and state officials are concerned about the pup's mother and her repeated visits to the island's most popular beach park. Po'ipu has been named the nation's best beach by beach expert Stephen Leatherman.

The seal gave birth there in July 2000 and again July 22 this year.

In each case, it required the closing of sections of the park and the round-the-clock presence of trained volunteers and wildlife experts.