Seal brutally attacks swimmer

The Department of Land and Natural Resources reports a California elementary school teacher in her 60’s was attacked by a well known monk seal named Rocky 150-feet off Kaimana beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.  KHON2 reports she suffered superficial cuts to her right cheekbone and left shoulder.

The woman and her husband had been for three weeks and they were well aware the seal’s presence in the area but she says she did not see it before entering the water.  The DLNR reports 10 swimmers including the woman who was bit went into the water with no seals visible on the beach or in the ocean.

Hawaii News Now spoke with the Executive Director of the Hawaiian Monk Seal Preservation Ohana, Dana Jones, who had this to say about the attack:

“And for someone to think that they should go ahead and have a swim, just because they don’t see the mom and pup on the beach is very irresponsible. Rocky was protecting her pup she did not attack this woman, this woman provoked it by being in her space.

If you look a monk seal in the face and in the eyes, that’s a challenge just like it is with a dog. You turn away, you go away, you walk away, you get away, swim out, whatever you can do, do not swim towards the pupping zone, which is where Rocky was trying to take her baby.”

Monk seals are a protected species and there was a possibility the woman could have faced fines for provoking the attack but an initial investigation by DLNR officials found she “did nothing to provoke the incident and was not even aware the seals were in the water prior to the incident” and sums up the incident as a case of“wrong place at the wrong time.”

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