Hawaiian monk seal returns to ocean after surgery

Hawaiian monk seal returns to ocean after surgery

HONOLULU (AP) - A Hawaiian monk seal is back at sea after a life-saving surgery removed a fishing hook he swallowed.

Hawaii Public Radio reports that the 14-year-old seal known as Benny was seen off Makua Beach in early October with a fishing line hanging out of his mouth, which scientist Charles Littnan recognized as a sign that Benny may have swallowed a hook.

Littnan, a lead researcher for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hawaiian Monk Seal Program, says Benny was given x-rays that confirmed his fears.

Benny was immediately given surgery to remove the hook wedged deeply into his stomach wall.

After a couple weeks of recovery and a steady diet of 10 pounds of fish per day, Benny has been returned to the water.

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