At two weeks of age, the Hawaiian Monk Seal pup known as "KP4" takes pleasure in using his newly-discovered foreflippers. He flaps them. He slaps his face with them. He even swims with them. In his second week of life, he and mom go for short swims in the shallows.
He still has his dark, puppy fur.
He still has fetal folds.
He has--and will always have--that bubblegum-pink-colored mouth that I love so much. The opening of the mouth usually comes with a sound--that of pup calling to mom. It's a cry, really, that mother and son use to communicate. Sometimes, KP4 vocalizes when he wants mom to roll over, so he can access her teats. Sometimes, KP4 vocalizes to mom when he wants her to follow him into the water for a swim. Sometimes, KP4 vocalizes to mom when a wave washes over him, and he momentarily "loses" his mom.
That cry? It gets me every time. Makes me put my hand to my chest, soften my eyes and say, "Aww."
If you want to learn more about Hawaiian Monk Seals, read my series of blog posts from earlier this year, titled "Sunrise Seal."