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Coast Guard flies sick monk seal from Hawaii island to Oahu

  • HONOLULU â?? Coast Guard crews, working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transport a Hawaiian monk seal from the Big Island to Oahu for urgent medical care, Feb. 1, 2012. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler.

    HONOLULU â?? Coast Guard crews, working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transport a Hawaiian monk seal from the Big Island to Oahu for urgent medical care, Feb. 1, 2012. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler.

The Coast Guard says it flew a sick Hawaiian monk seal from Kailua-Kona to Honolulu for medical care this morning. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration monk seal recovery coordinator Jeffrey Walters said today the male seal was having trouble breathing but scientists couldn’t diagnose him in the field. 

They decided it was necessary to bring him in for a health assessment and treatment. The seal is now at the Waikiki Aquarium where veterinarians will examine him. 

The Coast Guard says safeguarding marine mammals is one of its missions. 

The Hawaiian monk seal is a critically endangered species. There are only 1,100 remaining and their population is declining 4 percent per year.

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