A relaxed-looking Hungarian-Hawaiian monk seal on green foliage near a sandy white beach. The eyes are half closed and have…
A relaxed-looking Hungarian-Hawaiian monk seal on green foliage near a sandy white beach. 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 dealer in Hawaii, on Thursday, December 6th. “It’s an animal that has another animal that sticks its nose.”
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Simeone was not the only person stunned by the photo, 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 remote northwestern Hawaiian islands has since become viral and draws attention to a rare phenomenon that continues to baffle researchers who now ask for 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? “Said Littnan. There was no, Littnan said, and it took several emails and phone calls before decision was made to grab the eel and try to pull out the eel.
” It was only maybe two inches of eels that still stay out of the nose so it was very much related to the wizard’s trick when they pulled out the handkerchiefs and they keep coming and coming. “After less than a minute of tugging, a 2½-foot dead needle came from
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Since then, Littnan said there had been at least three or four reported cases, the last event this fall. In any event, the eels were successfully removed and the seals are “No,” he said. “No 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 40 years from now we will be retired and still question 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, as all cases were reported from remote islands that were only visited by researchers. Littnan said he had some hypotheses about how an eel could obviously come together in a seal’s nostrils.
A seal’s preferred byte ̵
1; usually fish, octopus and of course eel – hides in coral reefs to avoid being eaten. Because the marine mammals have no hands, they hunt with their faces.
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“They like to keep their faces in the coral reef holes and they will spit water out of their mouth to flush out things and they will do all sorts of tricks. But they shoot faces in the hole “said Littnan.
Maybe he said a horny eel decided that the only way to fly or defend himself was to swim up the attacker’s nostrils and young seals who are not “adept to get the food yet” had to learn a tough lesson.
But Littnan said that the hypothesis does not make sense. “They are really quite tall eels, and their diameter is probably close to what it would be for a nasal passage,” he said.
He added that a mouth seal nostrils that reflexively close when they appear on food are very muscular. It would be difficult for any animal to drive through. “I’m struggling to think of an eel that really wants to force itself into a nose,” he said.
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On the other hand, eels can end in the nostrils are vomiting. Similar to how people sometimes end up in traces of food or drinks from their noses, seals may often regurgitate their meals.
Still, Littnan said it does not seem possible that a “tall fat eel” should end up through a sealing nose instead of out of mouth. The “most credible” hypothesis, he says, is that teenage monk seals are not all that differ from their human counterparts.
Monk seals “seem naturally attracted to difficult situations,” said Littnan. “It feels almost like one of the teenage trends that happens: A juvenile seal made this very stupid, and now the others try to imitate it.”
Although no seals have been known to die or become seriously affected by the eels, which have a dead animal in their noses for a long time, have potentially adverse health effects, “said Simeone, chief of Ke Kai Ola, a Hawaiian- monk seal hospital run by the Marine Mammal Center.
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With a eel inserted in the nose a munk seal could not close the blocked nostrils while diving, which means that water can enter the lungs and cause problems such as pneumonia, Simeone said. A decomposition of eel body can also lead to infections, she said.
On Facebook, the seal photo had more than 1600 reactions on Friday morning. The caption read “Mondays … it might not have been good for you, but it should have been better than an eel in your nose.” It also became a moment on Twitter.
Many expressed sympathy for the seal must 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?” asked another person.
Littnan, however, said the young seal “apparently seemed quite oblivious to the fact that there were two feet of eels that stand out of his face.” Simeone said in general that marine animals are “very stoic” and adds: “It’s amazing the things they can tolerate.”
While “eagle snorting” has not yet reached the seal society, Littnan said he hope it never does. “We hope it’s just one of these spots that will disappear and never see again,” he said.
If monk seals could understand people, Littnan said he had a message to them: “I should be careful to stop.”
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Story of Allyson Chiu.