Hawaiian monk seal to be released after surgery - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian monk seal to be released after surgery

RE-74 RE-74

HONOLULU (AP) - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists will be releasing back to the wild an endangered Hawaiian monk seal that recently had surgery to remove a fish hook from his stomach.

The seal known as RE-74 will be released at west Oahu beach on Friday.

The 12-year-old male seal was found with a fishing line coming out of its mouth on Dec. 29. An endoscopy discovered a hook embedded in his stomach.

A team of veterinarians removed the fishing line and hook on New Year's Eve.

The seal was born on Kipukai Beach on Kauai. He's been known to spend time on Molokai but has spent most of his time on Oahu in recent years.

Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species. Their population is declining about 4 percent annually.

Related story:

Injured Hawaiian Monk Seal lives to see 2015 thanks to intense rescue

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