Endangered seal KP2 heads to new home in Hawaii

Coast Guard District 11 NewsALAMEDA, Calif. — A rehabilitated monk seal is being transported by a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft, from Air Station Sacramento, Tuesday.

Federal and state agencies, and the University of California Santa Cruz worked together to help transport the rare endangered seal, “Ho’ailona” or KP2, from California to his new home at the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu.

“Ho’ailona” will fly more than 3,500 miles from San Jose, Calif., to Barbers Point, Hawaii in the Coast Guard airplane and was accompanied by a representative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, three handlers, a veterinarian from UCSC, and a representative from the Waikiki Aquarium to ensure his travel was safe and he remained healthy through the duration of the flight.

“One of our missions in the Coast Guard is protecting natural marine life and resources, so when the opportunity to transport this endangered seal came up we offered our services,” said Capt. Michael Eagle, commanding officer Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento. “We had a cargo transport flight to Hawaii scheduled anyway, so it fit into our schedule and it offered several of our crewmembers an important training opportunity.”

To help the endangered seal be more comfortable during its long move, the travel cage was sent to California so he could become familiar with the transportation lodgings before the actual flight.

The C-130 is scheduled to land at 2:30 p.m., Hawaiian Standard Time, Tuesday, and KP2 will then be taken to his new home at the Waikiki Aquarium.

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