Regardless, we're happy to hear this sweet, vaguely irritated monk seal has been returned to its normal, eel-less state.
KTLV reports that this particular viral picture was taken over the summer on the French Frigate Shoals.
If you were a Hawaiian monk seal, you'd have to contend with THIS: getting a god damn EEL stuck in your GOD DAMN NOSE.
"Our researchers have observed this phenomenon three or four times now".
What's even stranger is that the seal program has seen this happen before, first noting the phenomenon a few years ago and citing multiple cases of juvenile seals with nostril eels since then.
An image of one such dummy was surfaced Monday on the Facebook page for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, which monitors the endangered population of these seals. "We don't know if this is just some unusual statistical anomaly or if we will see more eels in seals in the future", NOAA said.
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Researchers have managed to successfully remove all of the protruding eels, all from juvenile seals, but are still trying to ascertain why this is happening.
A monk seal was spotted with an eel dangling from is nose. "The eels, however, did not make it". "They are looking for prey that likes to hide, like eels,".
The refreshing news comes as researchers work to protect the endangered species, which is one of just two species of monk seal still in existence.
They also suggested that the seals could have swallowed the eels and regurgitated it, causing the eels to come out the wrong way.
The program answered the question: "We don't know".
Officials estimate only about 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals remain in the wild, most of which are found near the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. "All the seals were released and haven't shown any issues from the incidents", NOAA adds. As the Guardian reports, this incident is just the latest in a line of eels-in-nose incidents that have baffled scientists.