Another 4ocean Adoption: Meet Kilo, The Hawaiian Monk Seal

by 4ocean Team January 04, 2019

Another 4ocean  Adoption: Meet Kilo, The Hawaiian Monk Seal

Kilo was found orphaned and starving on a privately owned island in Hawai’i but was released back into the wild after 7 months of care at Ke Kai Ola.

 

Since Kilo’s release back into the wild, researchers at The Marine Mammal Center’s Hawaiian monk seal hospital, Ke Kai Ola, have spotted Kilo on nearby beaches. Both times she was seen, she was playing in shallow, near-shore waters and her sweet little face was covered in sea cucumber guts. This told researchers she was exploring her new home so thoroughly and boldly that she scared the small invertebrates, which causes them to expel their insides in defense. While that’s normal behavior for any young Hawaiian monk seal, it’s cause for celebration in Kilo’s case.

 

Kilo was the smallest Hawaiian monk seal pup ever admitted to Ke Kai Ola

Kilo was emaciated, dehydrated, and near death when researchers from the NOAA found her orphaned and starving on a privately owned island in the Main Hawaiian Islands. They rescued her and brought her to Ke Kai Ola for rehabilitation.

The hospital’s animal care experts estimated that Kilo was between 3 and 5 weeks old. She weighed 37 pounds, which is close to birth weight for a Hawaiian monk seal. Her weight was just a quarter of what it should have been at that age. Hawaiian monk seals are highly endangered and face many threats. While we can’t know what threat took Kilo’s mother away, we do know that this pup couldn’t have survived on her own.

 

Kilo wasn’t able to feed herself and wouldn’t have survived without the hospital’s intervention

Unable to feed herself, Kilo was fed fish-mash smoothies until she was able to transition to eating whole fish. It took several months, but thanks to Ke Kai Ola’s animal care experts, Kilo gained 100 pounds and quickly proved that she was strong and feisty enough to compete for her own meals in the wild. 

Here she is with her friend Ama’ama, another orphaned Hawaiian monk seal being rehabilitated at Ke Kai Ola, telling her caretakers she’s ready to go home:

hawaiian monk seals

Kilo was returned to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands that were her home

Once Ke Kai Ola’s patients are rehabilitated, they work closely with NOAA researchers to ensure every animal returns to a home where they can thrive. In Kilo’s case, that was the Northwest Hawaiian Islands where she was found. She was outfitted with a satellite tag before she was released so her caretakers could continue tracking her progress.

Every animal has a different reaction when they arrive back home and Kilo’s warmed everyone’s hearts. She “bolted out onto the sand, then rolled around and pushed her face and nose into the sand, all while vocalizing quite a bit,” said Dr. Michelle Barbieri, a NOAA veterinarian who works closely with the veterinary team at Ke Kai Ola.

 A happy homecoming indeed!

 

Want to help Hawaiian monk seals like Kilo?

Every 4ocean bracelet purchased removes one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines. Our purple bracelet also supports the heroic efforts of The Marine Mammal Center’s Hawaiian monk seal hospital, Ke Kai Ola. Order your Hawaiian Monk Seal Bracelet now.

 



4ocean Team
4ocean Team

Author





Also in Blog

The Definitive Guide to Recycling: Plastic By the Numbers
The Definitive Guide to Recycling: Plastic By the Numbers

by 4ocean Team January 18, 2019

Recycling plastic can be confusing because there are just so many different kinds. Some of them can be recycled while others not. In this post, the 4ocean Education Team breaks down the types of plastic into easy-to-understand infographics that will hopefully help you take your plastic recycling game to the next level.

Continue Reading →

What on Earth is Plogging?
What on Earth is Plogging?

by 4ocean Team January 16, 2019

Have you heard of the new exercise trend called plogging where people pick up trash while they exercise? It's something we fully support so let's get you up to speed. The word comes from the combination of "plocka" (means "pick up" in Swedish) and "jogging," but it can be done while walking, cycling, or hiking too.

Continue Reading →

What a Ride! 4ocean's Experience at Surf Expo 2019
What a Ride! 4ocean's Experience at Surf Expo 2019

by 4ocean Team January 15, 2019

4ocean attended Surf Expo 2019 in Orlando, Florida. We had a chance to exhibit and speak with many people who care deeply about the health of the ocean. The energy and feedback were incredible. It was so exciting for us to spread 4ocean's message to the masses. Check out photos from the event and ride the wave that is the clean ocean movement with us!

Continue Reading →