For 5 months, an Oahu monk seal has lived with a fishing hook st - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

For 5 months, an Oahu monk seal has lived with a fishing hook stuck in its mouth

(Image: Carroll Cox) (Image: Carroll Cox)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Since late September, officials at NOAA have closely monitored monk seal RH48, also known as Lei Ola. 

She's been going about her daily life for the last five months with a circle fishing hook pierced through the right corner of her mouth. 

The good news first: NOAA officials say the hook poses no threat to the 2-year-old seal's health and well-being.

In fact, NOAA officials said, "She remains in excellent body/nutritional condition, and this is considered a non-life threatening situation as there is no apparent swelling or infection from the hook and the hook does not seem to be impeding her ability to feed or move around."

The bad news: It may be stuck there for a while more.

Lei Ola is known to nap on a rocky portion of a local beach — which makes removing the hook difficult. 

"That make it unsafe (for humans and seal) to capture her so we have not been able to remove the hook," NOAA added.  

NOAA says if she does venture to a safe and sandy area, officials will attempt to capture her and remove the hook. 

If you spot Lei Ola, you're asked to call 220-7802 or email

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