Hawaiian monk seal has eel removed from its nose

Eloise Marshall
December 7, 2018

If you were a Hawaiian monk seal, you'd have to contend with THIS: getting a god damn EEL stuck in your GOD DAMN NOSE.

The photo of the Hawaiian Seal was with the tail end of the creature hanging from its nostril was released by the Hawaiin Monk Seal Research Program (HMSRP). But weirdly, the incidence has been increasing in the past couple of years.

In a post to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries website on Wednesday, the agency said that it had observed such an incident "three or four times now" but that it is a relatively new occurrence.

"If I had to guess, I would say that it's one of those strange oddities", Littnan said. "We don't know if this is just some unusual statistical anomaly or something we will see more of in the future", the NOAA wrote.

NOAA scientists have a couple ideas about how the eel might have gotten into the seal schnoz. It has since happened enough times for the monk seal program to develop guidelines on how to remove the eels. "They are looking for prey that likes to hide, like eels,".

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Fortunately, no harm to the seals was observed.

A monk seal in Hawaii was photographed with an eel stuck up its nose - and you're going to be obsessed with it.

They also suggested that the seals could have swallowed the eels and regurgitated it, causing the eels to come out the wrong way. "This may be a case of an eel that was cornered trying to defend itself or escape". We have now found juvenile seals with eels stuck in their noses on multiple occasions.

Which begs the question: are the seals shoving eels up there like... recreationally?

The removal process took less than a minute and while the seal was uninjured, the eel wasn't so lucky. An eel in the nose may be bad, but a rotting eel in the nose would be even worse; bacteria from the rotting flesh could have infected the animal, Littnan said. Honestly, despite not being a seal and not having an eel now lodged up my schnozz, I can truly empathise. "The eels, however, did not make it", writes marine biologist Brittany Dolan in the Facebook post.

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