monachus guardian monk seal

Dedicated to Monk Seals and their Threatened Habitats



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24 December 2008

The newborn “Artemis” of Leros

She was only 10 days old when she was found on the 10th of December — dehydrated, exhausted, wounded, and fighting for her life. Today the orphaned “Artemis” is responding well to the treatment provided by MOm in the Monk Seal Rehabilitation Centre in Alonnisos.

Artemis was found on “Belefoutis” beach in Leros by the vice-mayor of the island, who informed immediately the Port Police Authorities. In cooperation with MOm port police officers took care of the newborn monk seal pup until MOm’s Rescue Team reached the island. After first aid was provided to the pup, it was transferred to Alonnisos for intensive treatment.

The newborn Monachus monachus was named after the ancient Greek goddess Artemis, who was worshipped and highly honored on the island of Leros. The name was proposed by the local people of Leros who helped the rescue of the orphaned pup.

According to Jenny Androukaki, responsible for MOm’s Monk Seal Rehabilitation Centre, Artemis, following urgent treatment, has overcome her initial dehydration problems. Furthermore her superficial external wounds and skin affections have been treated with antibiotics and vitamins. The orphaned pup is gradually becoming accustomed to her new food, fish porridge, and is already gaining weight, reaching 18 kilograms. Steadily the pup is regaining her strength, is swimming in the pool of the Centre, and already able to haul out onto her platform by herself.

The rescue and treatment of the female pup follows international treatment protocols and is carried out by specially trained biologists, in the framework of the EU-funded project “MOFI” on the interaction between monk seals and fisheries in Greece.

Once more, Piraeus Bank is standing at MOm’s side by supporting the rescue of the orphaned seal, through the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.  For the past 15 years, Piraeus Bank has been actively supporting the rescue and treatment of sick or orphaned Monachus monachus pups, a species that is critically endangered and finds shelter mostly in Greek waters.


The MOFI project aims at reducing the negative interaction between monk seals and fisheries in Greece. The EU funded LIFE-NATURE project is implemented with the financial support of the Prefecture of Magnesia, Piraeus Bank and IFAW. For more information, go to

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