NORTH KOHALA – A Hawaiian Monk Seal recently lost another pup that it was rearing at a popular beach park.
Lynn Beittel of Visionary Video captured footage of the pup, named Elua, and its mother Waimanu at Keokea Beach Park, where the seals had become fixtures this past November. This was the second pup birthed by the mother. The first was born in 2013, and was successfully weaned before it swallowed a fish hook and died.
Things looked to be going well the second time around for Waimanu. Baby Elua appeared to be thriving and was perhaps on its way to depart from its mother. The pup was active in the beach keiki pond, and volunteers said the mother had already given it swimming lessons. It was surfing the waves and exploring. It also got a visit from another, male seal who is believed to be a relative to the pair, checking in on the pup from time to time.
Less than two weeks later, the sad news was learned that Waimanu had once again lost her pup.
The Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola – the first-ever rehabilitation facility devoted to this critically endangered species – is looking into the death of Elua, which is not believed to be the result of human interaction, this time.