Endangered Hawaiian monk seals face new challenge: eels stuck up their noses

Katie Ramirez
December 7, 2018

"Seals before eels, bruh"laughed a second".

"We have now found juvenile seals with eels stuck in their noses on multiple occasions", the organisation wrote.

A picture of a monk seal with an eel up its nose was shared this week by a Hawaii-based division of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

Researchers first spotted a seal with an eel nasal appendage in the summer of 2016, emailing colleagues who initially thought it was a joke.

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.

According to the team with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, the unusual phenomenon has been seen a handful of times in the past - each with the same outcome.

In an elaborated post on the NOAA Fisheries website, the experts say seals with an eel jammed up their nose have been seen three of four times over the last 40 years.

Hawaiian Monk Seal Gets Eel Stuck Up Its Nose

"We have reported on this phenomenon before which was first noted a few years back".

These seals search for prey that likes to hide by shoving their mouths and noses into the crevasses of coral reefs, under rocks and into sand. "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.

A juvenile Hawaiian Monk Seal found itself in a spot of bother earlier this week when a sizeable eel became lodged in its nose.

Researchers have managed to successfully remove all of the protruding eels, all from juvenile seals, but are still trying to ascertain why this is happening. Only about 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals remain in the wild, with the majority residing in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The phenomena could cause potential problems for the seals in terms of infections or even by affecting their ability to dive and feed on marine creatures. "We might never know".

NOAA reports all of the eel-huffing seals have shown no ill effects from their fish-sniffing experiments.

"It was nearly like those magician trick scarves that they just keep pulling out of the hat", the post added.

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