Happy news! We have the official birth of the first Hawaiian monk seal of the year, born Jan. 10 near Turtle Bay on Oahu's North Shore. Thanks to the Monk Seal Foundation for posting the video by Lesley Macpherson on Facebook.
The baby monk seal (P01) is the pup of Honey Girl (R5AY) who was rescued after a hooking incident in November 2012 near Sunset Beach on Oahu. Not only has she survived, but she's given birth! Monk Seal Foundation volunteers have been doing all they can to make sure both mom and pup are protected while educating visitors at the site.
Honey Girl beat the odds by surviving a serious injury, which is why the Hawaiian monk seal volunteers and supporters are celebrating. See this post from Monk Seal Mania.
Fewer than 1,100 of the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals remain in the wild. Most dwell in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, or Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (which you can now get a glimpse of via google maps), while 150 to 200 Hawaiian monk seals are believed to have migrated to the main Hawaiian islands.
Welcome P01. May you grow and thrive in the Hawaiian isles!