4 ailing monk seal pups taken to Big Island marine mammal hospital

4 ailing monk seal pups taken to Big Island marine mammal hospital
This is one of the four female pups rescued from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. (Image: NOAA/Permit #18786-03) (Source: hlr)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Four female Hawaiian monk seal pups have been picked up from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and taken to a marine mammal hospital on the Big Island because they were all underweight and unlikely to survive the winter without intervention.

The monk seals will remain at the Marine Mammal Center on the Big Island until they recuperate.

NOAA and partner agencies conducted the rescue.

The pups are now being tube fed and appear to be gaining strength.

Dr. Cara Field, staff veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center, said interventions like these are unfortunately all too common.

“This is a critical time for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal," she said. “Of the approximately 1,400 monk seals researchers estimate remain in the wild, nearly 30 percent are alive today as a result of these types of conservation efforts."

Two of the seals were rescued from Pearl and Hermes Atoll. The other two were from Lisianski Island.

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