State seeking public’s help in finding injured monk seals

Courtesy: Hawaii DLNR
Courtesy: Hawaii DLNR

State and federal officials are looking for the public’s help in locating several sick and injured monk seals on Maui and Molokai.

Beachgoers and mariners are asked to be on the lookout for an 11-month-old female monk seal, who has a hook stuck in her mouth.

A shoreline fisherman who accidentally hooked the monk seal while fishing early Saturday morning near the Olowalu area reported it to officials.

A nearby scuba diver was able to take a picture of the seal before it swam off.

“In this case, nothing happened to the fisherman. We appreciate the effort, the instantaneous effort that the fisherman took action and calling us. That’s precisely the behavior that we want,” Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William Aila said.

Officials are also looking for an emaciated young monk seal off the coast of Molokai, who is also in need of some care.

DLNR is urging anyone with information on either case to contact them at (808) 292-2372.

The public can also call the Monk Seal Hotline at 1-888-256-9840.

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