A juvenile Hawaiian monk seal with an eel stuck in the nose. (Brittany Dolan / NOAA Fisheries) A relaxed youthful…
A relaxed youthful Hawaiian Monk Seal Salons near a sandy white beach on a little green foliage. The eyes are half closed and have a peaceful expression on their face. But the calm experience of the seas is surprising.
Why? Yes, there is a tall black and white eel hanging in his right nostrils.
“It’s just so shocking,” said Claire Simeone, a veterinary and monk sales expert in Hawaii, at The Washington Post on Thursday. “It’s an animal that has another animal stuck on the nose.”
Simeone was not the only person judged by the seal’s photo and its unusual facial decoration like was shared earlier this week on Facebook by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. The image taken this year in the distant northwestern Hawaiian islands has since become viral and draws attention to a rare phenomenon that continues to confuse researchers who are now asking the extinct seals to “make better choices”.
Everything began about two years ago when Charles Littnan, leading researcher in the Monk Seal Program, woke up to a strange e-mail from researchers in the field. The subject line was short: “Eel in the nose.”
“It was just like,” We found a seal with an eel stuck in the nose, do we have a protocol? Littnan told the post in a telephone interview
There was none, Littnan said, and it took several e-mails and phone calls before making a decision to grab the eel and try to pull it out.
“It was only maybe two inches of eel still getting out of the nose so it was very much related to the wizard’s tricks when they pulled out the handkerchiefs and they keep coming and coming,” he said.
After less than a minute of tugging, a two and a half foot dead eel came out of the seal nostrils.
Since then, Littnan said there have been at least three or four reported cases – the latest that happened this fall. In any event, the eels were successfully removed and the seals are “good,” he said. However, none of the eels survived.
“We have no idea why this suddenly happens,” said Littnan. “You see some very strange things if you look at nature for a long time and it can stop being one of these career’s little idiosyncrasies and mysteries like 40 years from now we will be retired and still questioning completely how it happened.”  Researchers have already decided that this is not the result of a person with a personal vendetta against seals and eels because all cases were reported from remote islands that are only visited by researchers. Littnan said that he had some theories about how an eel could obviously come together in a seal’s nostrils.
A preferred seal of choice – usually fish, octopus and of course eels – hides in coral reefs to avoid being eaten, and because the marine mammals have no hands, they have to chase their faces.
“They like to keep their faces in the coral reef holes and they sprinkle water out of their mouth to flush out things and they’ll do all sorts of tricks, but they’ll shoot faces in the hole,” said Littnan.
Maybe he said a corner needle decided that the only way to escape or defend himself was to swim up his attackers’ nostrils and young seals who are “not very skilled at getting the food yet”, had to learn one tough lesson.
But Littnan said that the theory does not make sense.
“They are really quite tall eels, and their diameter is probably close to what it would be for a nasal fit. Ge, he said.
He added that a nose seal’s nostrils, which reflexively close when they appear on food, are very muscular and it would be difficult for any animal to drive.
“I struggle to think of an eel that really wants to force itself into a nose,” he said.
On the other hand, eel can end in nostrils is by throwing up. Just as people sometimes get traces of food or drinks from their noses, seals may often recover their meals.
Still, Littnan said that it does not seem possible to have a ” long, fat eel “should end up through a sealing nose instead of out of mouth.” The most likely “theory, he said, is that monk seal teens are not anything different from their human counterparts.” Monk seals “seem naturally attracted to get into trouble situations, “says Littnan.
“It feels almost like one of the teenage trends that happens,” he said. “A juvenile seal made this very stupid thing and now the others try to imitate it.”
Although no seals have died or been severely affected by the eels, a dead animal has raised their noses for a long time potentially adverse health effects, “said Simeone, chief of Ke Kai Ola, a monk seal hospital in Hawaii operated by the Marine Mammal Center .
With an eel inserted in the nose, a munk seal could not close blocked nostrils while diving, which means that water can enter their lungs and cause problems such as pneumonia, Simeone said. A decaying eel can also lead to infections, she said.
On Facebook, the seal photo had more than 1600 reactions from early Friday morning. The caption read, “Mondays”. . . It may not have been good for you, but it should have been better than an eel in your nose. “It also became a trick on Twitter.
Many expressed sympathy for the seal to experience what a Twitter user described as” the most uncomfortable thing ever. “
” RIP eel, but how satisfying must it have been for the seal when pulled out? “Another person ] wondered .
However, Littnan told the Post the young seal” apparently seemed quite unaware that there were two meters eel that stood out of his face. “
In general, Simeone’s marine animals are” very stoic “and adds:” It’s amazing the things they can tolerate. “
While” eagle snorting “has not yet Once caught in the seal society, Littnan said he hopes it never will.  “We hope that it’s just one of these flukes that will disappear and never see agile,” he said.
If monk seals could understand people, Littnan said he had a message to them: “I would cautiously ask them to end.”
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