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6th Hawaiian monk seal found dead on Molokai

The Hawaiian monk seal known as “L11” snoozes on the sand at Kalaupapa National Historical Park. On Sunday, the seal was found dead, the sixth monk seal fatality on Molokai this year. National Park Service/G. Puig-Santana photo

The Maui News

Molokai has seen six monk seal deaths so far this year, with the latest found on Sunday on the south shore of the island, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources reported on Thursday.

The seal found dead on Sunday 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 Oahu and had to be frozen, as COVID-19 conditions in Hawaii preclude National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries from conducting an immediate post-mortem examination. An exam will be conducted as soon as possible.

The “unprecedented” number of Hawaiian monk seal deaths on Molokai has law enforcement officers from NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement and DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement investigating.

Anyone with information is urged to call NOAA/OLE at (800) 853-1964 or the DOCARE hotline at 643-DLNR (3567), or to use the free DLNRTip app. Reports can be anonymous.

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