An Unlikely Ambassador
Among the 500 marine species that call the Waikiki Aquarium home, Hawaiian monk seal Ho‘ailona, also known as KP2, is by far one of the more popular. A recent book published about KP2 (Kauai Pup 2). The Odyssey of KP2 chronicled his incredible journey as an abandoned pup to how he helped scientists gain insight on how to save his species.
After being released in the wild for about six months, concern grew when KP2 began interacting more with humans instead of other seals. Also, KP2 developed cataracts, which deemed him permanently unfit for release and was then transferred to UC Santa Cruz in California for further care. During the fall of 2011, KP2 was brought to the Waikiki Aquarium which now serves as his permanent home.
Visitors can interact with KP2 through a large viewing window and the Aquarium is now educating the public about monk seal conservation. Through his charming personality and unique story, KP2 has provided researchers with important information about the behavior of monk seals and has become a household name in the world of monk seal conservation.
The next time you’re at the Aquarium, stop by and say aloha to KP2 and learn more about his fascinating story!
Waikiki Aquarium 2777 Kalakaua Ave. [D:12 Waikiki Map] (808) 923-9741