Caren Loebel-Fried: Artist. Illustrator. Author.
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Conservation Council for Hawai'i:
Phone: (808) 593-0255

Available for purchase now!

Proceeds from sales of this print go to CCH and protecting the Hawaiian Monk Seal.

'ailona, Hawaiian Monk Seal

This print was created for Conservation Council for Hawai'i’s annual wildlife educational poster, which is distributed to every public, private, charter, and Native Hawaiian Language immersion school in the state. Conservation Council for Hawai'i was established in 1950 and has become one of the largest and most effective wildlife organizations in Hawai'i. Conservation Council for Hawai'i is dedicated to protecting native Hawaiian plants, animals, and ecosystems for future generations.

The Hawaiian Monk Seal is called ‘Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua in Hawaiian meaning, ‘the dog that runs in rough waters’. Endemic to Hawai'i, the Hawaiian Monk Seal has lived for over 13 million years, longer than even some of the islands themselves. The Hawaiian Monk Seal can grow to 450 pounds and 7 feet long. The seal is critically endangered, the most endangered mammal in the world, with only about 1000 individuals left. The Hawaiian Monk Seal is the first in Caren’s series on the endangered species of Hawai'i.

“The Hawaiian Monk Seal has become my muse, and I have loved watching them basking on different Hawaiian shores over the years. Recently, while camping at Kiholo Bay on the Big Island, I was delighted to see a dark-furred adult foraging in the ocean. He picked his way along the reef at the shore in the early morning, right next to our campsite. What a thrill it was to see a Hawaiian monk seal just doing his thing in the wild.

“I have spent time observing Ho'ailona, the young Hawaiian Monk Seal who was adopted late last year by the Waikiki Aquarium. At the underwater viewing area, as children came to the glass, Ho'ailona swam to them with curiosity. Over and over, he put his whiskered, puppy face close to the children’s smiling faces. It was powerful and touching to see this young Hawaiian Monk Seal so keen on interacting with the human children. Ho'ailona is truly an ambassador for his species. I realized he would make the perfect model for the Conservation Council for Hawai'i poster, reaching all the schools across Hawai'i. As Ho'ailona glided through the water with such grace, ease, and agility, I snapped photos and did quick sketches. I marveled at his body, so well adapted to a liquid environment. My desire and greatest challenge will be to capture in art Ho'ailona’s engaging personality and his body in motion!”

Caren’s award winning illustrated books of Hawaiian legends include Naupaka, Lono and the Magical Land Beneath the Sea, Hawaiian Legends of Dreams, Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits, Pua Polu, the Pretty Blue Hawaiian Flower, Tree of Souls, and Legend of the Gourd.

Ho'ailona, Hawaiian Monk Seal, by Caren Loebel-Fried, is a limited edition Giclée from the original hand-colored block print.

All artwork and text on these pages Copyright © 2002-2022 Caren Loebel-Fried. All rights reserved.