Saturday, May 25, 2013
Update on Pohaku and her Pup
Aloha good people.... for many of you who have been curious about RO28 "Pohaku" and her new pup... how they were doing... the following is an update from the fine folks on Kauai who have been taking good care of her. This is a great picture of mom and pup.... and from what they are saying the pup is a little boy!
Behavioral observations of the mom and pup this week have shown that first time mother RO28 is a very protective and hyper-vigilant mom. On Wednesday while adjusting the enclosure fencing, RO28 surprised staff by charging two full body lengths toward them. They slowly backed away and she returned to her pup. On Thursday, volunteers were able to alert snorkelers when RO28 charged toward them swimming at full speed for approximately 75 feet. RO28 stopped when the people stood up on the reef (monk seals have poor distance eyesight), most likely realizing they were not a threat. While these are excellent traits for a mother with a new pup, it creates possible dangers to the public. In 2009 a snorkeler was badly injured by a protective mother at Maha'ulepu, so we are aware of the inherent dangers of swimming near mom/pup pairs.
Kauai MMRN have posted additional signs in the area, are taking additional precautions to keep their distance from the pair, and are taking extra measures to make sure all ocean users understand the danger of getting too close to a mom and pup on land or in the water.