The first Hawaiian monk seal pup was born on April 20th. The young pup was a female and born on the south side of Kauai.
By June, the pup was already weaned from her mother. She has learned to forage for food on the south side of the island. It only took 37 days for her to be weaned, which seems like a fast transition from pup to juvenile, but it is common for seals to wean their young quickly. The mothers lose a lot of weight while weaning their pups. They cannot leave their pups onshore, so they do not forage in the time they spend weaning their pups.
The pup was tagged as RK42. Many other monk seal pups were born this year which is a great sign for this small population. The mother of RK42 is RK13. She did a great job taking care of the female pup. She had to chase multiple males away from the area when they got too close for comfort. RK13 has raised several pups on the island since 2014, she is an experienced mother that will hopefully continue to produce healthy offspring.