NORTHWESTERN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS (HawaiiNewsNow) - How did an eel get stuck in a seal’s snout? Nobody really nose.
A photo recently posted by the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program is getting some good laughs online.
The photo shows a Hawaiian monk seal with an eel awkwardly stuck in its nose.
Posted on Monday, the caption began, “Mondays...it might not have been a good one for you but it had to have been better than an eel in your nose.”
When asked about the photo, the group said it was taken over the summer on the French Frigate Shoals, an atoll in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Field researchers were there monitoring the seal population when they witnessed the odd sight.
Trained professionals carefully restrained the seal and removed it in a simple process that reportedly took about 30 seconds.
The organization said it is rare for eels to get stuck in a monk seal’s nose, but it has happened before. Experts say this has been documented about three or four times in recent years.
The photo caption continued: “In all cases the eel was successfully removed and the seals were fine. The eels, however, did not make it.”
As for how the eel got there, experts have two theories: “Monk seals feed by sticking their noses in coral reefs and digging in sand so it is possible the eel was defending itself or trying to escape and forced itself into the nose. Or, the seal regurgitated it and it went out the wrong place. More likely the first...,” the group said.
If you witness a monk seal in distress or just lounging on the beach, you’re urged to call marine life authorities at 1-888-256-9840.