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Good news for Hawaiian monk seals after Japanese tsunami

Some Hawaiian monk seals, an endangered animal, were affected by the March 11 earthquake in Japan, but scientists say that the injuries are not life-threatening, according to a report from The Republic.

Timing may have been a key issue, as the tsunami did not hit during breeding season.

"We did see a few animals that had injuries. But we think right now the population fared fairly well. ...If it had happened 2 months later, when we had many more pups on the ground, then it would have been a problem," Charles Littnan, the head scientist at the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, told the news source.

The March 11 earthquake was the biggest in recent history for Japan. Thousands of people lost their lives, as many more were displaced and are still currently living in shelters. News of animal rescue from multiple agencies were reported after the ensuing tsunamis, and workers are sometimes braved nuclear radiation exposure in order to save animals.

The monk seals population has decreased to only about 1,100 worldwide, according to The Republic.
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