Coast Guard flies seal from Big Island to Oahu - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Coast Guard flies seal from Big Island to Oahu

Image:  U.S. Coast Guard Image: U.S. Coast Guard

HONOLULU (AP) - The Coast Guard says it flew a sick Hawaiian monk seal from Kailua-Kona to Honolulu for medical care.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration monk seal recovery coordinator Jeffrey Walters said Friday 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 1 of its missions.

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

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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