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Rescued monk seals recover at Big Island animal hospital

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Ten-year-old male monk seal “Ho’ailona” is seen at the Waikiki Aquarium in July. Two Hawaiian monk seal pups found malnourished on Laysan Island are recovering at a Hawaii island animal hospital.

KAILUA-KONA >> Two Hawaiian monk seal pups found malnourished on Laysan Island are recovering at a Hawaii island animal hospital.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration team surveying the endangered monk seal populations in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands found the male and female pups to be undersized and underweight last month.

Officials say the pups named Akulikuli and Maiapilo were expected at the Marine Mammal Center hospital in Kailua-Kona in mid-September, but their arrival was delayed by Hurricane Olivia. The NOAA research vessel Oscar Elton Sette sought shelter at Pearl Harbor as the hurricane approached Hawaii.

Megan McGinnis, animal care manager at the Ke Kai Ola hospital, says “both patients are being tube fed a fish-mash smoothie three times a day” as they recover.

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