Waikiki Aquarium euthanizes 'resident' monk seal - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Waikiki Aquarium euthanizes 'resident' monk seal

Nuka'au Nuka'au
Dr. Andrew Rossiter Dr. Andrew Rossiter

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Waikiki Aquarium made a tough decision on Friday when it decided to euthanize one of its two Hawaiian monk seals.

Nuka'au also known as Nuka arrived at the Aquarium in 1983. Waikiki Aquarium Director Dr. Andrew Rossiter said that Nuka arrived at the aquarium with a large scar on his abdomen, possibly caused by a shark. Nuka's health had been on the decline in the past couple years.

"Over a period of about 2-3 days last week, his health deteriorated to such an extent that with veterinary consultation we felt that the only option, the only humane option would be to euthanize him" said Dr. Andrew Rossiter of the Waikiki Aquarium.

Nuka lived to 31 years of age, that's more than 90 years in human terms.

On Monday Aquarium officials also spoke about a plan to euthanize a male monk seal that has been killing monk seal pups in the Kure Atoll.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contacted the Aquarium to see if they could take the monk seal as an alternative to euthanizing him.

"Life is not that simple I'm afraid. If they are mature animals, it would take a lot to introduce them into captivity. If they came in as pups it would be a lot more manageable but bringing in a wild animal, a wild male mature into captivity poses a lot of challenges" Rossiter said.

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