HONOLULU (AP) - A 3-year-old monk seal has been freed of the fishing hook in its mouth after being spotted in distress on Kaena Point.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the seal known as Kaikaina was first seen around noon Friday, though researchers didn't learn about it until later that night.
On Saturday, a six-person team that included biologists and veterinarians found Kaikaina on one of Kaena Point's sand beaches.
Charles Littnan is the lead scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. He says the soft, sandy area made it safe for the team to remove the hook and trailing fishing line without risking injury or death to Kaikaina.
He says the intervention shows how quickly workers can respond if the conditions are right.