A playful Hawaiian Monk Seal glides through the water during a SCUBA dive. These endangered animals are known for enjoying the company of swimmers, snorkelers, and divers.
From time to time monk seals can become too friendly though, injuring their playpals. This is one reason Hawaii officials advise giving the seals a wide berth and keeping a close eye on them if you encounter one in the ocean.
The other reason is that Hawaiian Monk Seals are actively protected by Federal and State laws.
Monk seals are surprisingly fast and agile swimmers with a huge lung capacity to stay under the water for several minutes.
From the Photographer:
“This lil guy came out and played with us on the dive today.”