A tissue won’t get this out.
A Hawaiian monk seal got an eel caught in its nose ― and it wasn’t the first time for these endangered creatures.
The Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program posted a startling pic of the poor pup on Monday, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries provided more details in a post on Wednesday.
The administration said it has seen the same “eels in noses” phenomenon nearly a handful of times in the last few years. “We don’t know if this is just some strange statistical anomaly or something we will see more of in the future,” the NOAA wrote.
The agency has two theories on why it happened in this case: A cornered eel was trying to defend itself or escape, and wound up in the seal’s nose. Or the seal could have swallowed the eel first and regurgitated its prey out the wrong way.
Good news, though, at least for the seal. “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. “All the seals were released and haven’t shown any issues from the incidents.”
According to National Geographic, Hawaiian monk seals’ average lifespan is 25 to 30 years in the wild.
Now if they could just keep their noses clean.