If you've ever been to Hawaii and tried your hand at catching some waves on the break off of Sandy Beach in Oahu, you'll know this is a very dangerous and extremely tricky spot to surf. However holidaymakers were left stunned when a Hawaiian monk seal stole the award for 'best surfer' as it effortlessly showcased its skills near the coastline.
The marine mammal was spotted and captured on film by David Amann, 52, a keen photographer from New York City. He watched in amazement as the mammal was seen diving and swimming amongst other holidaymakers close to the shoreline, before riding the waves and allowing the tide to carry it along.
Hawaiian monk seals are hard to come by as they only make their rare appearance a handful of times a year, so both spotting one and capturing it on camera was a treat for the photographer. David hastily grabbed his camera from his bag and took several snaps of the seal who was enjoying putting other surfers and swimmers to shame. Once the seal had finished its swim, it came on to the shore and indulged in a spot of sunbathing.
"œThis is a very unusual occurrence," David said, "œSeals do visit the beach but I have never seen one come this close to humans and the coastline. It looks like it is using the waves to propel it closer to the shore - I have never seen this done before, but they are experts in swimming so I am sure it knows what it is doing."
In this part of the world, the Hawaiian monk seal is an endangered species with just over 1,000 remaining.
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