Hawaii News

Kaiwi is a mom for fifth time, giving birth to Hawaiian monk seal pup at Oʻahu beach

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Hawaiian monk seal RK96 (Kaiwi) and her newborn pup that was born on Kaimana Beach on April 14, 2023. (Hawai‘i Marine Animal Response)

Hawaiian monk seal RK96, also known as Kaiwi, gave birth on April 14 to a pup at Kaimana Beach in Waikīkī, Oʻahu. 

Hawai‘i Marine Animal Response has roped off an area of the beach to serve as a seal nursery.

The pup is the fifth born to 12-year-old Kaiwi. She previously gave birth to male RP96 (Lōliʻi) in 2021, female RM26 (Nohea) in 2020, male RK24 (Wawamalu) in 2018 and female RH36 (Kawena) in 2016.


This newborn pup and Lōliʻi are the only two pups Kaiwi birthed at Kaimana Beach. She had all of the others along the Kaiwi coastline of Oʻahu, where she was born.

Kaiwi is the second seal known to give birth on Kaimana Beach. RH58 (Rocky) was the first to pup in Waikīkī, in 2017. 

Hawaiian monk seals are an endangered species, with fewer than 1,600 individuals left. They are native to Hawaiʻi and are found nowhere else in the world.


If you are in an area where a mother seal and pup are present — for your safety and the seals’ well-being — you must:

  • Keep at least 150 feet of space between you and the seals, both on land and in the water
  • Stay behind any fencing or signs
  • Follow the instructions of officials and personnel on site

This is an important time for Kaiwi and Kaimana.

A collaborative team of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and marine animal response members will be on the beach every day to provide information about the mom and pup.


The team members also are there to ensure mom remains with her pup, and the pup gets the nutrition it needs to develop properly. It is expected they will remain together in the Kaimana Beach area for approximately 5 to 7 weeks while the pup nurses.

The team members also are working closely with state and local partners, including Ocean Safety, Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the City and County of Honolulu to ensure coordinated support for the seals. The state Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement will be conducting periodic checks at Kaimana Beach throughout the nursing period.

It is strongly recommend to use any of the other numerous nearby beach locations for swimming and other ocean recreation activities. Mother seals can be very protective of their young and may bite if they view you as a threat.

There is a Hawaiian Monk Seal Updates page for future information about mom and pup.

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