Hawaiian monk seals tend to hunt at night. During the day, they’ll often haul out on a beach or rocky shore to rest, which is when they’re most often seen by people. This seal is a 7-year-old male with the catchy moniker of IO5 (given him by the people who track seals and look out for their welfare). He’s the monk seal I see most often and he has a few distinctive characteristics.
Thus far, he has remained unscarred by encounters with boats or sharks. He usually appears to have an air of being rather pleased with himself, perhaps a certain confidence about what a fine fellow he is. And when he’s on shore, he doesn’t just look like he’s resting, he looks like he has found a deeper, Zen-like calm. Seeing him in such a state always makes me loosen my shoulders, take a deep breath, and relax.