In Memory of Irma – Gone But Not Forgotten (Part 1)

irmaAloha monk seal Ohana. Part of our goal is to share the history and lives of some of Oahu’s most historical and memorable seals. This is a small story and memory of Irma. She contributed greatly to her species and we all have fond memories of her life here on Oahu.

Many who haven’t been around as long as some of the volunteers/posse don’t know Irma, but you do know her offspring. Please enjoy Part 1 of “Gone But Not Forgotten”. GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – Iconic Irma Irma was first seen on Oahu in 2001. She is an untagged female, ID #R010. Her bleach mark, historically, is N3. She has a small pit scar at the backside of the right flipper and a line scar on the lower right side of her face. She also can be ID’d by her white nail on her right front flipper. There is a long tale of romance between Irma and old man Kermit. His story will come later.

Benny, however, was a young show off, and took a lot of time “courting” the iconic Irma. There were MANY confrontations, between the 3, as you can see in the attached photo from DB Dunlap in 2012. It is always an unknown who the Daddy is, but Irma’s last pup in 2013, Kea RN46, born on the 4th of July, could belong to the bad boy.

One thing that cannot be denied, Irma was a major factor in perpetuating the species here on the Main Hawaiian islands. She was an excellent Mother and her surviving pups have gone on to produce some incredible offspring. Thank you Miss Irma.

Irma’s pups:

RR70 – RIP – May 3, 2003 – Rabbit Island
RI17 – Mojo-born May 26, 2004-Rabbit Island
2005 – Likely pupped elsewhere
R040 – Ka’ena – born July 6, 2006-Ka’ena Point
2007 – Possible pregnancy
2008 – Possible pregnancy
2009 – Not Pregnant
2010 – Possible pregnancy
2011 – RK96 – Kaiwi – August 11, 2011– Alan Davis
2012 – Not Pregnant
2013 – RN46 – Kea – July 4, 2013 – Alan Davis

Unfortunately, her long nursing bout with Kea left her very skinny. She was last photographed November 17, 2013. The photos show a prominent backbone and ribs where she was hauled out at MCBH. She has never been sighted there before, but the photographer was kind enough to send us his photos and has given permission to show them. We all have very fond memories of Irma and have looked after her pups for many years. She is greatly missed and revered by the volunteers and posse who looked after her. Wherever you are Irma, you are fondly and lovingly remembered.

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