20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Sleeping Monk

A sleeping monk seal rests on a populated beach behind caution tape in Lahaina, Hawaii. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered seal species in the world. This species is endemic to the Hawaiian islands and found nowhere else on the planet. The caution tape around the perimeter of the sleeping seal to give the individual ample space to rest is one approach to protecting the species in populated areas. In this particular instance, I had seen tourists approaching the animal and dogs barking nearby, and was the person to make the initial call about harassment. It was beautiful to witness the care that the volunteer team provided to ensure the rest of this seal, but also the commitment to the education of the public on the species’ decline.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Lahaina, HA, United States of America
Camera: ILCE-6500
Copyright: © Abigail Dahl
Photo of the Day: 09.29.23