Well-Known Conservationist Comes To Hawaii

Published On: Feb 04 2012 01:34:50 AM HST
Updated On: Feb 04 2012 07:00:35 AM HST
HONOLULU -

A well-known conservationist is in Hawaii to meet the island's "ambassadors of wildlife" -- endangered monk seals whose very survival may depend on educating people about their plight.

The Hawaiian monk seals at the Waikiki aquarium not only attract visitors, they've also attracted a well know wild life expert worried about their future.

"These amazing monks seals, that only live in Hawaii, there are only 1100 amazing animals left. They have a story to tell. If a species like this becomes extinct, it will not only be Hawaii that pays the price, the whole world will pay the price," said animal expert Jeff Corwin.

Corwin will tell their story of struggles and survival on his show Ocean Mysteries. While here filming, he tagged along as injured seals were helped and marine mammals were monitored.

"There are tremendous success stories here. There are tremendous and unique wildlife species but there is also a tremendous challenge to protect this environment," said Corwin.

Challenges even from monk seals themselves. One known as KE 18 has attacked and killed a number of seal pups. He will now be housed at the Waikiki Aquarium until a new home for him is built on the mainland. Then he'll be shipped away, so younger seals will have a better chance at survival.

Teaching people about life in the wild is just part of the show's goal.

"Our mission is to inspire stewardship, to get people outside and exploring. Ultimately, we use the marine world to provide the catalyst for that sense of journey and discovery," said Corwin.

The show on monk seals is one of three episodes Corwin is shooting in Hawaii. He is also focusing on green sea turtles and birds of the islands.

The shows will take people on an adventure around Hawaii to educate them. Corwin said the hope is the more people know, they more they'll realize the importance of conservation.

"Ocean Mysteries" airs every Saturday at 2:30pm on KITV. The episodes Corwin shot in the islands will be featured later this spring.

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