HONOLULU (KHON2) — An endangered Hawaiian monk seal was returned home after being treated for fishing gear ingestion at Ke Kai Ola.
The Marine Mammal Center said they approved the monk seal RP92 to be released back to Molokai, where he was initially rescued.
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“This seal’s story reemphasizes the importance of our ongoing partnerships to help save this species when the survival of each individual is critical to the recovery of the population,” said Dr. Sophie Whoriskey, the Center’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Conservation Veterinarian.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States and National Park Service also took part in the rescue, treatment and release of the monk seal.
The public is urged to keep a safe distance of about 50 feet from monk seals and at least 150 feet from monk seal mothers with pups.
The Center has a 24-hour hotline to report any sightings. Their response team on Big Island can be contacted at (808) 987-0765 and on Maui at (808) 292-2372.
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To report a hooked, stranded or entangled monk seal call NOAA Fisheries Marine Wildlife Hotline at 888-256-9840.