When Hawaiian monk seals are sick or injured, there is no place for them to get help in Hawaii. The Marine Mammal Center and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund have joined forces to raise $3.2 million to build a Hawaiian monk seal healthcare facility in Kona, on the big Island. For the last decade, The Marine Mammal Center has worked closely with government agencies and other nonprofits to provide medical assistance to monk seals, often flying out teams of its veterinarians, veterinary technicians and members of its trained volunteer corps to provide hands-on medical care in temporary and make-shift facilities in Hawaii.
The Marine Mammal Center knows full well the value and necessity of a hospital dedicated to the medical care of sick and injured marine mammals; in 2009 it opened a new hospital in California that allowed it to care for more than 1,700 animals that same year (that's more than the total number of monk seals alive today).
Although The Marine Mammal Center is responsible for rescuing marine mammals along more than 600 miles of coastline in California, it cares about all marine mammals, and has always been willing to help provide care or assistance for species around the world.
It is with this spirit that The Marine Mammal Center and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, collaborative organizations with the National Marine Fisheries Service of NOAA, have launched a $3.2 million campaign to build a new urgent healthcare facility for Hawaiian monk seals in Kona on the Big Island on land leased from the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). Such a facility could not only provide emergency medical care to sick and injured monk seals, but could also be used to help baby seals successfully reach the age of 3, after which their survival rate increases to 70%.
There's no time to waste: more monk seals are dying each year than are being born and now, more than ever, every seal matters!