Barbed fishing hook removed from Hawaiian monk seal's cheek

Updated: May. 31, 2017 at 8:46 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

EAST OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A fishing hook was removed from the cheek of an 11-month-old baby monk seal Wednesday morning after the animal was found at an East Oahu beach.

NOAA crews arrived to the beach at Baby Makapuu around 9:30 a.m. to rescue the animal.

Crews joined together to hold the seal down while they worked to cut the fishing line and remove the hook from its cheek.

Hawaii News Now was told the seal's injuries were not life-threatening, and the animal is expected to make a full recovery.

NOAA officials are reminding fishermen to use barbless hooks to avoid injuring marine life.

After the hook was removed, the seal happily flopped its way back to the ocean.

Wildlife official project there are about 1,400 monk seals in the wild.

Hawaiian monk seals are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Purposefully harming or disturbing a monk seal is a felony offense.

Anyone who sees a stranded or entangled marine mammal is urged to report it by calling 1-888-256-9840.

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