Researchers Baffled As To How A Seal Got An Eel Stuck Up Its Nose

People on the whole, it's safe to say, love animals, which is why every time national treasure and all round bae, Sir David Attenborough, releases a new series audiences go mad for it. They absolutely lap it up.

They're incredibly impressive pieces of television, which give people who basically have no idea about what animals live in our garden, the chance come face to face with some of the most majestic species in the world.

And sure Dave can tell you the intricacies about how animals mate, give birth, hunt, and generally try and stay alive, which are all very important things, but has he ever once spotted a seal with an eel stuck up its nose? I don't think so.

Well experts at the have and shared the photograph of a Hawaiian monk seal that somehow managed to get an eel lodged up its schnoz.

According to the post on their website, this isn't the first time that this has happened but they still aren't sure how or why.

Experts say they have recorded eels getting stuck of noses before but don't know why. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Brittany Dolan
Experts say they have recorded eels getting stuck of noses before but don't know why. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Brittany Dolan

The NOAA website post said: "In the nearly 40 years that we have been working to monitor and protect endangered Hawaiian monk seals, we have only started seeing 'eels in noses' in the last few years.

"Yet, our researchers have observed this phenomenon three or four times now. We don't know if this is just some strange statistical anomaly or if we will see more eels in seals in the future.

"Hawaiian monk seals forage by shoving their mouth and nose into the crevasses of coral reefs, under rocks, or into the sand. They are looking for prey that likes to hide, like eels.

"This may be a case of an eel that was cornered trying to defend itself or escape. Alternatively, the seal could have swallowed the eel and regurgitated it so that the eel came out the wrong way. We might never know."

You will be relieved to know however, that the eel was quickly removed and the seal was fine.

The post added: "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 seals were released and haven't shown any issues from the incidents."

PC B. Dolan from Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, shared the story on their Facebook page.

They wrote: "We have reported on this phenomenon before which was first noted a few years back. We have now found juvenile seals with eels stuck in their noses on multiple occasions.

"In all cases the eel was successfully removed and the seals were fine. The eels, however, did not make it."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Dominic Smithers

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in French and History, Dom went onto gain an NCTJ journalism qualification. Since then he has worked as a reporter at the Manchester Evening News and the Macclesfield Express, covering breaking news, court, sports, and politics.

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