POSTED: 7:10 a.m. HST, Feb 25, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 8:22 a.m. HST, Feb 25, 2014
KAILUA-KONA >> The Marine Mammal Center says its new hospital for critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals will be opening to patients this summer.
The California-based nonprofit veterinary hospital broke ground on the $3.2 million Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona in 2012.
The facility includes rehabilitation pens and pools, quarantine areas and a medical lab.
Marine Mammal Center Executive Director Dr. Jeff Boehm says the hospital is being built to help save a species.
There are fewer than 1,100 Hawaiian monk seals left in the world, and their population is declining about 4 percent per year.
The Marine Mammal Center is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to operate the hospital.