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6th Hawaiian Monk Seal Found Dead on Molokaʻi

September 23, 2021, 3:52 PM HST
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File photo of L11 snoozing on the sand at Kalaupapa National Historical Park (Credit: National Park Service/G. Puig-Santana)

The sixth death of a Hawaiian monk seal on Molokaʻi within the past year has authorities investigating the cause.

On Sunday, Sept. 19, people reported a young female seal dead on the south shore of the island, the Department of Land and Natural Resources reported. The animal was identified by a temporary bleach mark on her side, as “L11” one of the pups born on the island in 2020.

The carcass of L11 was sent to O‘ahu and is currently frozen as COVID-19 conditions in Hawai‘i preclude NOAA Fisheries from conducting an immediate post-mortem examination.

An exam will be conducted as soon as possible.

With the unprecedented number of Hawaiian monk seal deaths on Moloka‘i this year, law enforcement officers from the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) and the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) are looking into the cause.

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The joint federal and state investigation into the latest death and the others is continuing and anyone with information is urged to call NOAA/OLE at 800-853-1964 or the DOCARE hotline at 643-DLNR or use the free DLNRTip app.

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