Waimanu and her pup
Waimanu is a monk seal who spends most of her time around the Big Island, one of the few to do so. She has given birth three times here, and recently gave birth to her fouth pup. She won’t leave her pup to feed until it’s ready to fend for itself, usually around six weeks. Because of this, she feeds up, ahead of giving birth, and attains enormous size.
The top photo shows the contrast between the huge mother seal and her small pup. Over the next six weeks, if all goes well, she’ll steadily lose weight while the pup will grow quite quickly. Eventually, the pup will lose it’s black coloration and look similar to its mother, the transformation complete.