- Associated Press - Sunday, July 30, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - A baby monk seal was reunited with her mother after wandering off to a Honolulu beach by itself.

The 4-week-old monk seal pup named Kaimana was spotted alone Friday in Waikiki Natatorium while its mother frantically called out for her.

The Hawaii Marine Animal Response Team had been watching Kaimana’s mother, Rocky, and quickly discovered that the baby was missing.

The team passed on the search to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Members of the public reported seeing Kaimana at the Natatorium and alerted the team.

Officials had to gain access to the beach, which has been closed for several years, before they could recover the pup. They found Kaimana in the water in a shallow area.

The crew used a blanket as a makeshift stretcher to move the monk seal pup from the water and take her with her mother, said marine mammal biologist Aliza Milette-Winfree.

The family was reunited after about 45 minutes, officials said.

The pup was tired and somewhat stressed out but not harmed after the incident, according to Milette-Winfree. They also gave the baby and the mother their space as they reunited.

“As responders, we want to make sure that we have hands off the animals as much as possible,” she said.

She expects that as Kaimana gets older, she’ll become bolder and likely wander off again.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration team will watch over Kaimana over the next few days to monitor her progress.

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