Molted monk seal

A newly molted Hawiian monk seal rests in a tide poolA newly molted Hawiian monk seal rests in a tide pool
I posted a photo of IO5 back on April 27. Since then, I saw him in mid-May looking about the same. Then a couple of weeks ago I saw him again and in the interim he had clearly molted. The green tinge around his head and flippers was gone and instead he looked clean and tan, silvery where he’d been rolling in the water.

One thing that hadn’t changed from previous sightings was his demeanor and activity on shore. Once again he looked supremely relaxed, stretched out in a tide pool.

Many Hawaiian monk seals look pretty beaten up with scars from encounters with sharks, boats, and goodness only knows what other perils of the sea. IO5 is something of an exception in that, currently, he has barely a mark on him.

For more information about Hawaiian monk seals, go to www.pifsc.noaa.gov/hawaiian_monk_seal/ or www.marinemammalcenter.org/hawaii.

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