Do Monk Seals Attack Humans?

Monk seals are very sensitive to human presence.

They can become agitated and sometimes aggressive if people approach too closely or are too loud.

Disturbing them on the beach may also interrupt their resting period.

Are monk seals dangerous?

The Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi) is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world and their population is declining. Monk seals are endemic to Hawaii, meaning they are native and are not found anywhere else in the world.

Do seals ever attack humans?

Leopard seals are apex predators presenting a potential risk to humans. However, attacks on humans are rare.

Did Hawaiians eat monk seals?

A: Hawaiian monk seals generally do not eat just one kind of prey.

What does the Hawaiian monk seal look like?

The seals are born with a black lanugo—a fur coat found on some infant mammals. They shed this as they grow, and as adults, they have dark gray backs and light-colored bellies. Hawaiian monk seals are 7 to 7.5 feet (2.1 to 2.2 meters) in length, with females larger than males.

How many monk seals are left in the world?


Where can I see a Hawaiian monk seal?

To report monk seal sightings:

  • Email us at or.
  • Call your island’s Marine Mammal Response Coordinator: Island of Hawaii: (808) 987-0765. Kauai: (808) 651-7668. Maui/Lanai: (808) 292-2372. Molokai: (808) 553-5555. Oahu: (808) 220-7802.

Do seals bite you?

“No matter how cuddly the seals may look, when they bite it does hurt and there is a big chance of infection. They have microorganisms on their skin that can enter our bodies, too.”

Are GREY seals friendly?

On the contrary, they are curious and playful. That means when a grey seal is fed or even petted, they can start playing dangerous biting games. In Zeeland, a diver who wanted to swim with a grey seal, suffered bite wounds. You can compare this to bears: grey seals have a friendly look but remain true predators.

Do seals eat humans?

Leopard Seals Can Also Be Very Dangerous to Humans

Sadly, there is a flip side to Paul Nicklen’s amazing encounter. It can be a dangerous endeavor to try to study these creatures, and in one case, leopard seals have been known to kill a human.

How long do monk seals live?

25-30 years

Do Hawaiian monk seals have teeth?

When it is not hunting and eating, it generally basks on the sandy beaches and volcanic rock of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian monk seal has a relatively small, flat head with large black eyes, eight pairs of teeth, and short snouts with the nostril on top of the snout and vibrissae on each side.

What do monk seals do?

Monk seals live in warm subtropical waters and spend two-thirds of their time at sea. They use waters surrounding atolls, islands, and areas farther offshore on reefs and submerged banks. Monk seals are also found using deepwater coral beds as foraging habitat.

How many monk seals die each year?

While disease may seem like a “natural” cause of mortality, toxoplasmosis is perpetuated by free-roaming cats, and thus linked to human alteration of the environment. Trauma continues to be a sad threat to monk seals. In 2017, two seals died due to trauma that appeared to be human-inflicted.

How can we save the Hawaiian monk seal?

Follow fishing guidelines to PREVENT THE EVENT (0.8 MB PDF) :

  1. Don’t feed seals or discard old bait or scraps into the water.
  2. If you encounter a seal, take a short break or change locations.
  3. Reduce seal attractants in the water (such as fish on a stringer)
  4. Use a barbless circle hook.

How fast can a Hawaiian monk seal swim?

Hawaiian monk seals can remain under water for up to 20 minutes. 6. Hawaiian monk seals can dive more than 1,804 feet (550 m) deep but prefer to swim in shallow waters 200 feet (61 m) or less. 7.

Why did the monk seal go extinct?

“Humans left the Caribbean monk seal population unsustainable after overhunting them in the wild,” said Kyle Baker, biologist for NOAA’s Fisheries Service southeast region. “Unfortunately, this lead to their demise and labels the species as the only seal to go extinct from human causes.”

Do monk seals have fur?

Monk seals have a “catastrophic molt”, where they shed the top layer of their skin and fur about once a year. When seals spend a long time at sea foraging, they can grow algae on their fur.

Do monk seals eat turtles?

Monk seals primarily feed on squid, octopus, and fish. A handful of monk seals have been found feeding on lobsters, and while no monk seals have been known to dine on sea turtles, on one of our paddling tours we encountered a monk seal that was aggressively handling a honu.