A Hawaiian Monk Seal spotted with an eel stuck in the nose.
According to an entry on the Facebook page of the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, the phenomenon is not uncommon after reporting such observations several times over the years.
“However, our researchers have observed this phenomenon three or four times now,” said an article on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website. “We do not know if this is just a strange statistical deviation or if we see more eels in seals in the future.”
NOAA also said that the seals usually germinate by shoveling their mouth and nose in the coral reefs, under the stones or in the sand. They said that seals are looking for change that hides, like eels.
This particular case could have caused the seal to swallow the eel and then regurgitate it incorrectly, or eel tried to defend itself when it attempted to fly.
“We may never know,” said NOAA online.
The eels have been successfully removed from the seals in all captured cases, but the eels have never done so.