VIDEO: Monk seal tosses and toys with sea turtle off Maui - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

VIDEO: Monk seal tosses and toys with sea turtle off Maui

KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A rare glimpse of a playful monk seal off Maui serves as a warning for anyone who is tempted to get too close to the animals.

It was a treat for the tourists – two beautiful animals were right next to their boat. But it's no treat for the turtle, who is an unfortunate victim of an especially curious monk seal.

Witnesses say the juvenile female seal toyed with the turtle for more than an hour last week off Maui's Oluwalu. The seal nibbled it, hugged it and even tossed the turtle into the air. Most of the encounter was caught on camera.

"Seals are pretty smart and whether she's just interacting with that seal or actually trying to eat it. It's an indication that they are large and they are intelligent and they are curious," said Dr. Rachel Sprague, Assistant Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Coordinator. "That makes particularly young seals susceptible to becoming curious people."

Experts are worried because history shows, a friendly seal can sometimes be a dangerous seal.

A few years ago, an abandoned pup known as KP2, was rehabilitated by scientists but grew so fond of people that it later became a star attraction on Molokai. The seal played with children and dogs, and grabbed swimmers with its fins.

Concerned it might hurt someone, NOAA sent KP2 to a research center in California. The seal has since been renamed Ho'ailona and now lives at the Waikiki Aquarium.

NOAA wants the new seal off Maui to stay wild, which means people should stay away.

"If they're getting interaction back, it can encourage the seal to do that more," said Sprague. "The thing we don't want is for her to get so comfortable and actually seeking out people to interact with."

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

2013 Winter Waves Slideshow (SIDEBAR)

Updated:

SLIDESHOW: Hawaii Winter Waves 2013 More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • NETFLIX: What's coming, going in June

    NETFLIX: What's coming, going in June

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 1:15 PM EDT2017-05-23 17:15:36 GMT
    Tuesday, May 23 2017 2:45 PM EDT2017-05-23 18:45:28 GMT

    Among the highlights in June: the critically acclaimed "Orange is the New Black," back for a fifth season and "Glow," an energetic at female wrestlers of the 1980s. 

    More >>

    Among the highlights in June: the critically acclaimed "Orange is the New Black," back for a fifth season and "Glow," an energetic at female wrestlers of the 1980s. 

    More >>
  • Warning of "imminent" attack, Britain raises threat level

    Warning of "imminent" attack, Britain raises threat level

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 10:23 PM EDT2017-05-24 02:23:08 GMT
    Tuesday, May 23 2017 10:23 PM EDT2017-05-24 02:23:08 GMT

    An explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert attended by thousands of young music fans in northern England, killing at least 22 people and injuring dozens more.

    More >>

    An explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert attended by thousands of young music fans in northern England, killing at least 22 people and injuring dozens more.

    More >>
  • Students banned from graduation after 'dangerous' prank

    Students banned from graduation after 'dangerous' prank

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 8:10 AM EDT2017-05-23 12:10:44 GMT
    Tuesday, May 23 2017 8:10 AM EDT2017-05-23 12:10:44 GMT

    The students entered the school Thursday wearing all black and wielding water guns and water balloons. Some even had on masks.

    More >>

    The students entered the school Thursday wearing all black and wielding water guns and water balloons. Some even had on masks.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly