HONOLULU — A monk seal pup found its way into a Hawaii pool for the second time.
The pup, named Kaimana, swam into the Waikiki Natatorium on Thursday morning. But this time, Kaimana’s mother Rocky was able to guide the pup out instead of wildlife officials having to intervene as they did last week.
The seals were separated for about two hours before Rocky entered the Natatorium and helped her pup get out, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said.
“Pup was pacing on the inside, mom was pacing on the outside,” said David Schofield, marine mammal response coordinator. “It appears the mom and pup know how to go in and out, which is good.”
Last week, the pup swam into the natatorium’s pool at night, triggering a quick response by volunteers.
City officials don’t see a clear fix to prevent the seals from gaining entry. They said they’re unable to close the structure’s numerous openings.
“Unfortunately, we cannot put up any gratings to cover those holes,” said Mark Yonamine, deputy director of the city Department of Design and Construction. “There are unforeseen cavities in there, confined spaces, rubble, rebar, things that we’re not completely aware of.”
The city also does not want to put in any ramps because the structure is so fragile it might collapse.
“There’s huge sections where the deck has caved in, so it’s pretty bad,” Yonamine said. “We’re just kind of in a wait-and-see and support role to NOAA.”