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Take a Virtual Tour of Ke Kai Ola

Meet our educators and veterinary experts and get a behind-the-scenes look at our hospital for Hawaiian monk seals on the island of Hawai`i.

May 11, 2017

After more than eight months of rehabilitation, our four Hawaiian monk seal patients are ready to return to their ocean home in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Before they return to the wild, you can take a virtual tour of Ke Kai Ola, our Hawaiian monk seal hospital and education center where these patients received life-saving care.

Watch now as educators Jennifer Walker and Tara Spiegel take you behind the scenes to learn more about our work to save this species. Have questions for our team in Hawai`i? Share them in the comments section of our Facebook page.

These four lucky seals are heading home soon:

  • Niho`ole – a young male whose name means “toothless” because he had no teeth when NOAA researchers first spotted him
  • Lele-aka – a young female whose name means “milky way”
  • Ha`aheo – a young female whose name means “shy with pride”
  • Mea Ola – a five-year-old female whose name means “survivor”

Admitted primarily due to malnourishment, all four seals have grown in size and put on a healthy amount of weight since their arrival last August. Two of these patients, Niho`ole and Lele-aka, arrived as pups that were weaned too early, and Ha`aheo came in as a yearling, or about a year old. But our fourth monk seal patient, Mea Ola, was extremely underweight and was estimated to be five years old when she was rescued, making her the oldest monk seal patient at Ke Kai Ola to date.

Since opening the hospital three years ago, The Marine Mammal Center's veterinary experts have successfully rehabilitated 19 Hawaiian monk seals. As these seals mature and have pups of their own in the coming years, monk seal experts hope this will improve the species’ chances of survival in the islands that have been their home for millions of years.

The Marine Mammal Center's team also monitors Hawaiian monk seal haul out activity on the island of Hawai`i and manages rescue efforts for sick and injured seals reported to the hospital’s 24-hour hotline (808-987-0765).

You Can Be a Hawaiian Monk Seal Hero

Thanks to our generous donors, Hawaiian monk seals like Mea Ola are able to get a second chance at life in the wild. You can make a real difference for this endangered species and all of the marine mammals in our care by making a gift today.



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