EndangeredHawaiian monk seals are facing a odd new threat, on top of the usual challenges from disease and becoming caught in fishing nets.
A juvenile Hawaiian monk seal was spotted with a spotted eel in its nose at French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands this past summer.
Apparently, eels getting stuck in seals noses happens occasionally, but no one is certain as to why.
Yes, that's an eel in a seal.
According to the NOAA website, researchers started spotting eels in seals' noses just a few years ago, even though the Hawaiian monk seals have been monitored for over 40 years due to their status as a protected endangered species.
"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. We don't know if this is just some unusual statistical anomaly or something we will see more of in the future.
A monk seal in Hawaii was photographed with an eel stuck up its nose - and you're going to be obsessed with it. Have you ever seen a face that said "guess this is my life now lol" more than that stupid seal's stupid face?
But researchers are still baffled as to why and how this happens. This whole situation could just be a "weird anomaly" or a "crazy statistical quirk, and we may never see it again", he added.
Fortunately, all the be-eeled seals they've spotted have been successfully de-eeled.
Or seals could be swallowing the eels and then regurgitating them. But the eel may have gotten deeper into the nose, preventing the seal from removing the invader.
Hawaiian monk seals forage by shoving their mouth and nose into the crevasses of coral reefs, under rocks, or into the sand, he said, in search of prey that like to hide, such as eels. The seals were all fine, but the eels did not make it, according to the scientists' post.
Other problems the eels could cause the seals are infectious diseases or hampering their ability to feed on fish and other sea creatures. "All the seals were released and haven't shown any issues from the incidents".
'If you come across a Hawaiian monk seal mom and pup, please stay quiet and enjoy them from a distance, remaining behind any signs or barriers that might be present'.
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