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Hawaiian monk seal population is rising


Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian monk seal hospital on the Big Island opened its doors to three pups.

Two of the seals were found malnourished in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument on the island of Kamole, or Laysan Island.

The pups were small for their age and unlikely to survive on their own.

The female pup, WQ22, and male pup, WQ08, are increasing their weight and regaining nutrition with oral multivitamins, electrolytes and fish.

The third monk seal was found on Molokaʻi with fishing gear hanging from his mouth. RP92 was rescued by the National Park Service on Moloka‘i.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced the Hawaiian monk seal population has grown to more than 1,500.

This is the first time the endangered species had a population of this size in more than 20 years.

"As the only partner organization permitted by NOAA to treat and rehabilitate Hawaiian monk seals, we’re proud that nearly 30% of monk seals that are alive today are due to conservation efforts led by NOAA and partners like The Marine Mammal Center," said Ke Kai Ola veterinarian Dr. Sophie Whoriskey.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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