New Hospital To Rescue Hawaiian Monk Seals
Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island, will be the location of a new Hospital for Hawaiian monk seals that California based non-profit Marine Mammal Center hopes to build. It will be the first specialty center for monk seals on the Hawaiian Islands. As of now, the only place for troubled monk seals to be taken is the Waikiki Aquarium, which can only house a few monk seals at a time. Jeff Boehm, The executive director of the Marine Mammal Center said that his non-profit decided to spear-head the project since no other organization was taking the lead of building a facility such as the one to be built on the Big Island. Advantages of the propsed location is that it will be close enough to the airport to provide quick importation of monk seals in need of medical attention, as well as being close enough to the ocean to be able to pump fresh ocean water into the facility to provide the seals with clean and sanitary water. The Hawaiian Monk seal got its name because of the folds of skin that resemble a monk’s cowl. They are a rare species of seal that only inhabit the warm tropical waters around Hawaii, and are primarily found in the wild around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, a pristine marine sanctuary in Hawaii. Often they come to shore to sleep and recuperate, or to find shelter during storms in fringe vegetation. One of the reasons for this species getting into trouble is because humans have moved into many of its habitats, as well as being an unintended victim of fishing nets. These cute little creatures can often be spotted sleeping along the beach at Diamond Head, roped off by a perimeter set-up by volunteers when monk seals are reported sleeping on near-by beaches. Being the most endangered of the nation’s marine mammals, it is extremely important to the survival of this species that the rehabilitation center on the Big Island is made into a reality.