By Tim Binnall
Scientists studying monk seals in Hawaii were surprised to spot one unfortunate creature that had wound up with an eel stuck in its nose. The bizarre scene was shared online by the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program earlier this week in a post on their Facebook page. Surprisingly, the animal's strange predicament is not entirely unheard of as they have actually "found juvenile seals with eels stuck in their noses on multiple occasions."
Fortunately for this particular congested creature, the group was able to quickly remove the eel in a matter of seconds and the seal was no worse for wear. Alas, the same could not be said about the eel, which did not survive its misadventure inside of the animal's snout. As to what may have caused the weird encounter between the seal and the eel, the group offered a pair of possible scenarios which could have taken place.
One theory is that the seal had been digging for food using its snout and, in the process, came upon the eel. Looking to avoid becoming the seal's meal, the eel then valiantly tried to escape the situation by lunging nto the animal's nose. The other possibility paints the eel in a less heroic light as the group also said that it could have already been eaten and had simply been regurgitated by the seal. Fortunately for the departed eel's reputation, the researchers say that the first scenario is probably the more likely of the two.