Why have seals been getting eels stuck up their noses?

Do you mind? A juvenile Hawaiian Monk Seal with an eel up its nose. Image Facebook  Hawaiian Monk Seal Research ProgramMore

Regardless, we're happy to hear this sweet, vaguely irritated monk seal has been returned to its normal, eel-less state. "All of the seals that we have encountered in this slippery situation have been quickly caught by our response teams and the eel gently and successfully removed", the agency said.

It's believed the eel likely entered the monk seal when it was feeding in coral reefs, as they feed by sticking their noses into the sand and start digging around, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

A juvenile Hawaiian monk seal was spotted with a spotted eel in its nose at French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands this past summer.

The Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program released a photo on Monday of a poor Hawaiian monk seal, squinting in what can only be a what-is-my-life look, with a probably-also-distressed eel stuck up its nose.

According to the team with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, the odd phenomenon has been seen a handful of times in the past - each with the same outcome.

"Mondays...it might not have been a good one for you but it had to have been better than an eel in your nose", said the post.

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What's even stranger is that the seal program has seen this happen before, first noting the phenomenon a few years ago and citing multiple cases of juvenile seals with nostril eels since then.

But researchers are still baffled as to why and how this happens. The seals were all fine, but the eels did not make it, according to the scientists' post.

A juvenile Hawaiian Monk Seal found itself in a spot of bother earlier this week when a sizeable eel became lodged in its nose. "This may be a case of an eel that was cornered trying to defend itself or escape". "We might never know".

According to the NOAA Fisheries, researchers recorded a record number of pups born to the endangered Hawaiian monk seals on the main Hawaiian islands in 2018.

NOAA reports all of the eel-huffing seals have shown no ill effects from their fish-sniffing experiments. It was nearly like those magic trick scarves that keep pulling out of the hat'. Or, the seal regurgitated it and it went out the wrong place.

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