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Young monk seal sent to Marine Mammal Center from Oʻahu to remove swallowed fishing gear

malnourished monk seal
Sophie Whoriskey
The Marine Mammal Center_NOAA
N2, a juvenile male Hawaiian monk seal rescued from Oʻahu, explores a rehabilitation pool pen at The Marine Mammal Center's Hawaiʻi Island based hospital, Ke Kai Ola.

A Hawaiian monk seal suffering from malnutrition after swallowing fishing gear was transported from Oʻahu to the Marine Mammal Center in Kailua-Kona for care.

The male juvenile monk seal is known as N2. NOAA received a report, via the NOAA marine wildlife hotline, of a seal on the Ka Iwi Coastline on Oʻahu with a wire fishing leader and a swivel hanging from its mouth. He was found in Hanauma Bay five days after the report.

Veterinarians removed the hook from his stomach. N2 will now go on a diet of fish and subcutaneous fluids to improve his nutritional status and hydration.

The public should keep a safe distance from monk seals and report sightings on Hawai‘i Island to the Center’s response team at the 24-hour hotline: 808-987-0765.

Report hooked, stranded, or entangled monk seals to the NOAA Fisheries statewide toll-free hotline at 1-888-256-9840. NOAA Fisheries also recommends these best practices to reduce injuries to monk seals when fishing.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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