"The Dog that Runs in Rough Water"
November 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment
Ilio holo I ka uaua is the Hawaiian for the monk seal and means the "dog that runs in rough water." As I mentioned Sunday, we were so fortunate to see one of these rare animals on our last day on Kauai. Only 45 monk seals call the waters around Kauai home and about 100 live around the main Hawaiian Islands making the monk seal one of the most rare seals in the world. They feed all night which also happens to be the time when their most dangerous predator, the tiger shark, also hunts. So the seals not only must find food but also stay alert for hunting sharks. During the day, they will haul out on a beach or rocky cove and sleep in the sun all day, going back to the water at night again. Even this young 2 1/2 year old seal had scars, whether from an encounter with a shark, from another seal, or from a boat propeller, indicating the dangers these animals face. Thanks to the work by the Marine Mammal Center and their volunteers, these seals are provided special protection and hopefully their numbers will begin improving in the near future.
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