Happy 10th Aquarium anniversary, Makana! This lovely Laysan lady is an ambassador to her species and the Pacific Ocean’s most remote places.
Makana—named after the Hawaiian word for “Gift”—is the only Laysan albatross at an accredited zoo or aquarium in the US.
Part of a breeding program on Kona, the Big Island of Hawai’i, Makana damaged her left wing when she was four months old. Although her caretakers tried to rehabilitate her wing, she never fully recovered and is unable to fly.
Thankfully, we had room for her at the Aquarium, and she’s been with us now for a decade as an ambassador for her species and the animals that live and forage in the middle of the North Pacific Gyre—the “Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch” you may have heard about on the news.
The North Pacific Gyre is a massive, circulating body of water that concentrates trash—the overwhelming majority of which is “single-use plastic,” like carry-out plastic bags and straws and bottle caps and coffee lids that we use once and then throw “away.” But even though we don’t see where our trash goes, there are species like Laysan albatrosses that know exactly where “away” is. 98% of Makana’s wild cousins have ingested some kind of plastic.
That’s why simple solutions and slight adjustments in our everyday lives, like voting for plastic bag bans and switching to reusable alternatives, matter so much to the ocean and animals like Makana. California voters: please vote YES on Prop 67 and NO on Prop 65 for a plastic free ocean!
But enough about that—happy Aquarium anniversary Makana! Here’s to many more decades of inspiration with us! #montereybayaquarium #makanaversary #cleopatrabird #albatrossandrachel
Shared by montereybayaquarium (Monterey Bay Aquarium) and selected for Art.