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Hawaiian Monk Seal Treats Tourists To The Sight Of A Newborn Pup

A Hawaiian monk seal and her newborn pup get to know each other on a Waikiki beach.
A Hawaiian monk seal and her newborn pup get to know each other on a Waikiki beach.

Hawaiian monk seals are endangered, but "Rocky" is doing her best to save her species.

OK, the conservation folks know her as RH58, but according to the Associated Press, she's picked up the nickname Rocky.

She gave birth to a pup late Wednesday or early Thursday on a Waikiki beach — to the delight of tourists who watched from behind ropes, kept away from the little family by volunteers.

A beachgoer checks out a a Hawaiian monk seal and her newborn pup on a Waikiki beach in Honolulu. The endangered species usually does not pick a busy tourist site to give birth.
Audrey McAvoy / AP
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A beachgoer checks out a a Hawaiian monk seal and her newborn pup on a Waikiki beach in Honolulu. The endangered species usually does not pick a busy tourist site to give birth.

Hawaiian monk seals can live to be 25 to 30 years old, says the National Wildlife Federation. Rocky is believed to be 17 years old, and this is not her first pup. She typically gives birth in Kauai, where she was born, and it's not known why she went for the tourist beach experience this time.

Angela Amlin, coordinator for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Program, tells the AP that pups normally nurse for five to seven weeks, and that the mother will be very protective during that time.

As adorable as the sight of the little family is, seal researchers urge everyone to stay 150 feet away so as not to worry them.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.