How to Tell Seals Apart

Most Hawaiian monk seals have unique natural markings, such as scars or natural bleach marks, that help identify individual seals. Many seals have identifiers such as flipper tags or letters and numbers applied to the animal’s fur with bleach.

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Example of a Hawaiian monk seal with a natural round bleach mark on its right side
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Example of hind flipper tags
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Example of a monk seal with letters and numbers applied to the animal’s fur with bleach.

“To have a living, breathing creature that can be found nowhere else on the planet but in Pae’aina, simplistic in its being, with the instinct to survive the ages, ‘ilioholoikauaua (Hawaiian monk seal) is an extension of what Hawaii is.” – Julie Leialoha Member, Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team