World renowned seal veterinarian, Dr. Martin Haulena, who holds the record for keeping a monk seal under anesthesia for the longest period of time, has been called out to an emergency rescue in Hawaii to help an adult male Hawaiian monk seal that swallowed a circle hook.
Veterinarians from around the region are convening on Hawaii for an opportunity to help save this critically endangered species, including the Aquarium’s veterinarian, Dr. Haulena.
Dr. Haulena has been part of the Hawaiian monk seal program for many years and is one of the more experienced veterinarians able to administer surgical anesthetics to monk seals. Several years ago he participated in a very long and complicated procedure to remove a large fish hook from a monk seal.
The Hawaiian monk seal is the most endangered North American pinniped. Some of the known threats to monk seals include habitat loss and injuries caused by human interactions.
The Aquarium is part of an international network of organizations that help to rescue and provide emergent care to animals in distress, especially those threatened with extinction. We have developed many techniques to provide emergent and ongoing care for our rescue animals at the Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre — some of these techniques will be used to help save this monk seal.