Keeping control over endangered animals can be difficult, especially if they are being actively hunted by hunters who do not care about the law. The status of threatened Hawaiian monk seals is the result of past hunting and human development on the Hawaiian islands, but now the species has thrown the conservationists into a curved ball.
More and more of the seals, which are native to Hawaii, were seen with eels stuck in their noses. Funny as this may sound (the photo above, which was released by NOAA is actually very funny), it actually poses a challenge for scientists to do their best to keep the species in good health.
"In the nearly 40 years we've been working to monitor and protect endangered Hawaiian monk seals, we've just begun to see eels in our noses, in recent years, "explains NOAA. "However, our researchers have observed this phenomenon three or four times now. We do not know if this is just a strange statistical anomaly or if we see more eels in the seals in the future. "
Without seeing the seals actually stuffing the eels into their noses, it is difficult for scientists to determine how this is happening, but they think the seal's eating habits may be to blame. According to NOAA, seals tend to stick faces into holes in submerged rocks and reefs for food, and a trapped eel can see a nostril as the only possible way out.
The good news is that the researchers were able to capture all the seals they saw with hanging eels and removed them safely. The stamps do not seem to get worse, which is great news, since there are less than 2,000 live stamps