A young Hawaiian monk seal was found in recent weeks in the French frigate shoals in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands with a spotted eel in the nose in the past few weeks (Photo: NOAA Fisheries / Brittany Dolan) –
A Hawaiian Monk seal was discovered with an eel in the nose.
According to a post on the Facebook page of the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, the phenomenon is not uncommon after reporting several such sightings over the years.
"However, our researchers have now observed this phenomenon three or four times," says a post on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website. "We do not know if this is just a strange statistical anomaly or if we will see more eels in seals in the future."
The NOAA also said that the seals usually feed by poking their mouths and noses into the cracks of coral reefs under rocks or in the sand. They said that seals search for prey that hides like eels.
This particular case could have been the cause of the seal swallowing the eel and then getting it up the wrong way again, or the eel trying to defend itself when trying to escape.
"Maybe we never know," the NOAA said online.
The eels have been successfully removed from the seals in all cases, but the eel has never made it.