We all want to get in touch with nature. A close encounter is always a reminder of how beautiful and powerful nature is. But these encounters also come with a warning, especially to tourists, to not meddle too much with it.
When tourists get too keen, we tend to disturb nature’s “peace” or when we are not careful and mindful of our surroundings. This story is a great reminder to always be cautious of the place you’re visiting, especially when the nature around you could fight back.
A 60-year-old elementary school teacher was on vacation with her husband in Waikiki, Hawaii. It was an ideal place to get away for a while and be one with nature.
However, one mistake turned this sweet escape into the most horrific nightmare when the schoolteacher swam in the ocean. She didn’t see and wasn’t aware of the danger ahead of her.
Locals of Waikiki have grown fond of Rocky, a Hawaiian monk seal they often see on Kaimana Beach. Their fondness comes with a lot of respect and protection since she was considered one of the endangered species in Hawaii.
When Rocky gave birth, they knew the best thing to do was to protect where she often feeds or nurses her pup. The local government and other organizations have set up barriers in the water against humans and other regulations to protect them.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Hawaii Marine Animal Response closely watched this mother-child pair in their waters. They warned people to stay away from them. The shoreline from where they usually stay was roped off, and people were told not to get too close.
A schoolteacher’s mistake
The schoolteacher was unaware of Rocky and her pup on the nearby shore where she and her husband were staying. She went beyond the roped area and had her swim cap on when she went underwater.
She didn’t hear or notice the people shouting at her and telling her to swim away. It was rather too late because when Rocky saw a human was nearby, she went into full attack mode and it was all to defend her baby!
The schoolteacher tried to swim away and screamed for help, but the mother seal kept pulling her underwater, and some witnesses said that she even bit her head at some point.
Saving the tense situation
It was a very tense situation; luckily, a group of bystanders with a canoe went near her to block her off the seal. They took her to the shore, and they called 911. The woman had lacerations on her arm, face, and back.
According to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, disturbing protected areas and animals would incur a heft fine. However, they did not recommend charges or any penalty for this incident. They also didn’t name the 60-year-old schoolteacher because she begged anonymity.
People agreed that this incident was not the seal’s fault. It was the natural mother’s instinct of the seal to protect her pup. It was an unfortunate incident, but this could be a reminder for everyone always to ask or get to know the place they’re visiting before they tread on it.
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