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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Friday, April 18, 2014

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Posted: Monday, December 23rd, 2013 12:26 PM HST

State asks for help protecting Hawaiian monk seal

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) State officials are asking the public to help keep a Hawaiian monk seal pup safe.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources on Friday asked the public not to feed or approach an 8-month-old pup that's been frequenting southern Oahu harbors and marinas. Officials say feeding her will likely reduce her chances of survival if she continues to seek out unnatural food sources.

The pup is one of fewer than 1,000 seals that are alive today. It's against federal and state laws to feed or approach Hawaiian monk seals, a critically endangered species.

Harbor and marina users who come into contact with her are asked to maintain a distance of at least 150 feet and not make eye contact.

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