I’m posting this photo in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘Friend’ (see more responses here), though it would be equally suitable for next week’s ‘Lazy Days.’
Monk seals are solitary animals, the main exception being the six weeks or so a mother spends with her new pup, teaching it the tricks of the trade, before leaving it to fend for itself. But for a three month period in late 2016, these two monk seals spent a lot of time together.
The top seal is I05, a male, affectionately known as Igor. He’s a Big Island seal and appears to spend his time on the Kohala and Kona coast. The other is B00, a female, affectionately known as Boo. She was born in Kauai and had previously been seen on Molokai and Maui, but now appears to spend much of her time on the Kona coast. Whereas not too much had been known about B00, I05 was regularly seen and was a notorious loner. So his ongoing liaison was quite out of character.
They seemed very relaxed and content in each other’s company, and here are resting ashore, as monk seals do, before heading back into the water to feed.