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Coast Guard flies sick monk seal from Hawaii island to Oahu

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 6:49 p.m. HST, Feb 1, 2013

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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