Hawaiian monk seal dies after surgery to remove hook from throat - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian monk seal dies after surgery to remove hook from throat

This X-ray shows the large fishing hook lodged in the monk seal's throat (Image source: NOAA) This X-ray shows the large fishing hook lodged in the monk seal's throat (Image source: NOAA)
RG03 during surgery (Image source: NOAA) RG03 during surgery (Image source: NOAA)
The fishing hook and line removed from RG03 (Image source: NOAA) The fishing hook and line removed from RG03 (Image source: NOAA)
KAHUKU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A young Hawaiian monk seal has died following surgery to remove a fishing hook that was stuck in her throat.

The 8-month-old monk seal RG03, called "Ola Loa" by volunteers who cared for her, was first spotted with several feet of fishing line trailing from her mouth nearly two weeks ago off of Oahu's North Shore.

NOAA staff, members of the Monk Seal Foundation and volunteers spent the next few days searching for Ola Loa. She was finally found on Sunday near Kahuku Point with the large fishing hook still lodged in her mouth.

The seal underwent a difficult surgery at NOAA's facility on Ford Island. After several hours, officials say they were able to remove the hook, however, she went into shock and six more hours of attempting to stabilize the monk seal were unsuccessful.

Hawaiian monk seals are an endangered species with only about 1,100 remaining in the wild.

Wildlife officials ask, if you spot a seal -- whether it is in distress or not -- contact NOAA at any of the following numbers.  

•    Island of Hawaii: East: (808) 756-5961 / West: (808) 987-0765
•    Kauai: (808) 651-7668
•    Maui/Lanai: (808) 292-2372
•    Molokai: (808) 553-5555
•    Oahu: (808) 220-7802

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