A seal in Hawaii got an eel in the nose. A photograph of the seal shows the eel hanging from one of the nostrils, with the tail end hanging down and the head probably jammed the Schnoz of the seal.
The photo was published by the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program (HMSRP). This is part of the NOAA fishery and is committed to preserving and rescuing the seal of the endangered Hawaiian monk.
The HMSRP said that this is not the first time that a seal has put an eel in its nostrils – adolescents have been found in this state on several occasions. But why this happens is a mystery.
A Facebook post from the group said, "Monday … it may not have been good for you, but it had to be better than an eel in your nose. We have already reported on this phenomenon, which was first noticed a few years ago. We have now several times found juvenile seals with eels in the nose. In all cases the eel was successfully removed and the seals were in order. However, the eels did not make it.
The HMSRP found another seal in 201
Due to breathing difficulties, the veterinarian decided to remove the "quick handling" eel as if it were a seal. If you wanted to swim or dive during the extraction process, this could lead to more problems.
Explaining what happened next, the team said, "The eel was successfully removed from the right nostril [the seal’s] in 45 seconds this afternoon! Hurray! It was definitely funny because the eel was nearly two feet long, what was just as surprising was only about four inches hanging from the nostril [the seal’s].
"It was almost as if these magical scarves were simply pulled out of their hats. We are pretty sure that the entire animal was removed when the skull was found, but some fins or spines may have come off the eel during weight loss. The seal did not fight very much and no blood came out when removing the eel. "
According to the IUCN Red List, there are only 632 mature Hawaiian monk seals in the wild, populations have declined since the 1950s and were declared an endangered species in 1976. The main threats to seals are mainly to the Trafficking – including fishing and harvesting of water resources, pollution and habitat disturbance.