Lost northern fur seal shows up on Hawaii beach

Reply Thu 2 Aug, 2012 02:22 pm
HONOLULU (AP) — A seal that would normally live in waters around the Aleutian Islands and California has shown up thousands of miles away on a beach in Hawaii, officials said Wednesday.

People found the northern fur seal resting on the sand near Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore. It was emaciated, underweight and weak.
It's the first time on record that a wild fur seal has come to Hawaii, said David Schofield, a marine mammal response coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hawaii's only native seal is the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Elephant seals have made their way over from California in the past, but only very rarely, Schofield said.

"We were all pretty surprised," he said.

It's not clear how the female visitor, a young adult, got so far south.
Some theorize it may have hitched a ride on a cargo ship or even rode over on some debris from Japan's 2011 tsunami, but Schofield said both were unlikely. The seal may have wandered off and gotten caught in a strange current that brought her to the islands.

"The bottom line is we'll never know," he said.


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Reply Fri 3 Aug, 2012 05:43 am
@Lustig Andrei,
She needs a new GPS!
Reply Fri 3 Aug, 2012 10:01 am
It's proof of global cooling.
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Lustig Andrei
Reply Fri 3 Aug, 2012 03:19 pm
Good news. She's on her way back to northern climes, in fact has probably landed at Oakland International by now. According to this morning's Hawaii Tribune-Herald,the seal was scheduled to be flown from Honolulu to Oakland at some point last night and turned over to the Marine Mammal Center. There she'll be tended to until it's felt she's ready to be returned to the wild.
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