Saturday, September 24, 2016

HMMA Update from September 23rd

At 0715 a report came in about a seal at Paradise Cove. Barbara ID'ed Pohaku (RO28). Warren responded. Robyn later responded in the afternoon. Melissa responded. At 0810 Don checked in with a report of Lei Ola (RH48) at the Keiki Pool. At 1051 a report came in about a seal at the Outrigger Canoe Club. Colleen confirmed the Kaiwi (RK96) ID. At 1358 Robyn checked in with a report of a second seal hauling out at Paradise Cove. Later the seal was ID'ed as Benny (RE74). Terri checked in to report Pohaku departed at 1715. Benny departed at 1755.

 It has been a sad day in marine mammal response community. It saddens us to inform you that R912 Nihoa was found dead on Mokuleia Beach on 9/23. Nihoa was found with numerous wounds, some quite large, to her body and head. NOAA took her to their Ford Island facility to conduct a necropsy. We hope to have at least some preliminary finding soon but sometimes it can take several weeks for the lab results. NOAA will inform us as more information is available.

 Nihoa was first observed on the Northwestern Hawaiian island of Nihoa in 2011 and she made her way to Oahu the same year. She had been sighted on the west, north and eastern portions of the island. She had 3 pups. RL42 born in 2012, RN58 Luana in 2013 and RH32 Ka’ale earlier this year - all born in Mokuleia near the Kaena Point parking lot. She was a good mom, protective of her pups, and she was the 2nd documented case of a Northwestern Hawaiian islands animal to have pups in the main Hawaiian islands.

 For those of you that have looked after her over the years, know that no one could have given her more care and attention than you. You have served her well. Her death is very hard, but it also emboldens and strengthens us to continue the good fight for the preservation and recovery of these very special animals. Very nicely said.....  this is important to remember... 

 Melon Headed Whale Update: On 9/17 a distressed whale was reported at Kalama Beach in Kailua. HMMA assisted with response in partnership with NOAA and HPU. HMMA volunteers participated in monitoring, documentation of behavior and public outreach. Unfortunately, due to declining condition of the whale's health, the difficult decision was made by NOAA to euthanize the animal. A Hawaiian cultural practitioner was called to perform a blessing on the whale. HPU will conduct a necropsy and more details from the lab results will be provided as the information becomes available over the next several weeks. A big mahalo to everyone who assisted with response during the last several days.

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