I would like to weigh in on the subject of animals in captivity. In a perfect world, I believe animals belong in their natural habitat and let nature do what nature does best. I DO NOT support capturing animals for the purpose of captivity. BUT in some cases such as Maka's and Ho'ailona if neither of these two were brought into the aquarium they would have died for sure. The benefit of having them in captivity, education!
More people are aware of the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal because of their visit to the aquarium. The amount of attention KP2 aka Ho'ailona brought to the world gave the aquarium a chance to carry on that message. Maka gave 34 years of greeting people, I thank him and all the folks at the aquarium for looking after him.
Team Billand headed out early as usual and their first stop was not at the outfall. On their way there they saw a seal and was hoping it was in fact Ka'ale RH32. Nope! It was Kekoa Alii RK72 way in and alone. They ID'd him with his broken tag. Welcome back to the west side!
Later when they returned he was gone from that spot but did spot him foraging doing 5 minute dives.
After leaving Kekoa, Team Billand head out to Ka'ale's Kitchen and upon arrival they spotted a seal but couldn't get an ID right away. Thankfully today there were only 13 fishermen and a volunteer Christina. Finally they see his tag and it's RH32 Ka'ale, he goes out, comes in and then goes way off the jetty and they could no longer see him.
Team Billand headed over to the nearby beach where he is known to haul out. They waited and waited watching the dolphin boats. Then sure enough there he is coming into the area. He hauled up on the rocks, looks about and stayed. He moved enough they could see all his green belly. He is HUGE. They headed out to look for more critters.
Team Billand headed over to a westside beach close to 10 am and there they found the beautiful Miss Lei Ola. She is nice and plump, looking healthy and yes her hook still visible. Amazing she is functioning and thriving out there with a hook in her mouth for a year. Her tags are showing with no new markers.
On their afternoon revisit to the area see another seal on the rocks with Lei Ola. It was Kekoa RK72 both there in their own water hole. Kekoa kept a close eye on her but they did not interact.