A newly formed group dedicated to the survival of the Hawaiian Monk Seal is training volunteers to participate in the upcoming state-wide monk seal count.
Volunteers who fell in love with Chester, the Hawaiian Monk Seal that spent 26 days on Kailua Beach while molting in early 2008, have joined forces with other monk seal lovers to form a new non-profit group dedicated the the survival of the species.
That group, Hawaiian Monk Seal Response Team Oahu, will conduct the bi-annual monk seal count on Oahu Saturday, October 17 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
HMSRTO is accepting volunteers to participate in the count and is conducting training for volunteers.
“If you do see an animal, we have a process in which we want them to be identified whether its by a tag number, or any identifiable marks such as scars,” said Donna Festa, HMSRTO Vice President.
“There are also guidelines we want volunteers to go by. We never want to approach an animal. We stand by a guideline of staying away at least 150 feet,” Festa told KGMB9.