HONOLULU — The Kahala Hotel & Resort and Dolphin Quest Oahu today held a blessing ceremony to release a pair of five-year-old Hawaiian green sea turtles into the ocean. During a traditional blessing by Kahu Laakea Arista. Kamalani and Kaimana crawled past a crowd as they made their way to their new home. These particular turtles have called Dolphin Quest home since 2016. This is the seventh pair of turtles successfully released by Dolphin Quest Oahu since 1999 as part of the Ocean Ambassador program, an initiative to protect the native turtle species.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort hosts baby Hawaiian green sea turtles on property, where they are cared for by Dolphin Quest and serve as ocean ambassadors to visitors and school children. The Ocean Ambassador program seeks to educate the public about the plight green sea turtles face in the wild and provides a protected environment for the young turtles until they are deemed appropriate for release into the wild. The program also gives visitors the rare opportunity to view this threatened species and learn about conservation efforts.
The growing population of Hawaii Green Sea Turtles remains protected by state and federal law as a threatened species. The Ocean Ambassador partnership between The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Dolphin Quest, Sea Life Park, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has played an important role in the conservation of these animals in Hawaii.
“Dolphin Quest’s Turtle Ambassador Program at The Kahala Hotel & Resort is helping to raise awareness of the threats green sea turtles face in the wild, inspiring new generations to help protect them, and directly contributing to green sea turtle conservation,” says Michelle Benedict, Aquarist at Dolphin Quest Oahu.
“We were so happy to host Kamalani and Kaimana over the years. As The Kahala celebrates our 55th anniversary, we are thrilled to be a part of their return to the wild,” says Joe Ibarra, General Manager of The Kahala Hotel and Resort.
The public can enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the care Kamalani and Kaimana received at Dolphin Quest Oahu in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEZOEVlQVaEAbout The Kahala Hotel & Resort
The legendary Kahala Hotel & Resort is an oceanfront, destination luxury property known for its gracious Hawaiian hospitality. Located just minutes from Waikīkī, The Kahala offers an exclusive ambiance of a neighbor island experience. The Kahala has been Honolulu’s social address for weddings and gatherings since its opening in 1964. World leaders, royalty, rock bands and Oscar winners call the 338-room resort their Hawaiian home-away-from-home. The Kahala is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The resort is home to The Kahala Spa, lush tropical gardens and a natural ocean-water lagoon with the hotel’s own resident dolphins cared for by Dolphin Quest. The Kahala also has five restaurants: Plumeria Beach House, Seaside Grill, The Veranda, Arancino and the award-winning Hoku’s restaurant. Stay connected with The Kahala via www.kahalaresort.com, on Instagram at @kahala_resort or on Facebook at The Kahala Hotel & Resort and Twitter at @KahalaResort. Share your Kahala moment #AtTheKahala.About Dolphin Quest
Dolphin Quest is an international organization founded by marine mammal veterinarians known for its creative approach to education, commitment to ocean wildlife study and exemplary animal health care. The interactive marine animal programs featured at Dolphin Quest promote a spirit of connection to the marvels of the oceans and inspire people to care about dolphins and their conservation in the wild. Dolphin Quest is accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and Humane Certified by American Humane.