Monk seals pups milestone for The Marine Mammal Center

Photo by Lauren Van Heukelem © The Marine Mammal Center_NOAA Permit #18786-03 D.

Female Hawaiian monk seal pup DQ10 rests in her rehabilitation pool pen during treatment at Ke Kai Ola, The Marine Mammal Center’s hospital in Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i. The malnourished pup was rescued from Manawai (Pearl and Hermes Atoll) in August.

Photo by Paige Mino © NOAA Fisheries, NMFS Permit # 18786

Hawaiian monk seal Meleana (R) is pictured resting with her newborn pup on Manawai (Pearl and Hermes Reef) this summer.

KAILUA-KONA — In a sign of hope for the next generation of endangered Hawaiian monk seals and a critical boost to ongoing conservation efforts, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the first time confirmed that two formerly released patients from The Marine Mammal Center’s hospital in Kailua-Kona, Ke Kai Ola, are now new moms. The news comes as the Center admitted four more seal pups into rehabilitative care and released another seal patient in partnership with NOAA.