Wildlife officials wait for months to remove hook from Hawaiian monk seal


Wildlife officials are monitoring a Hawaiian monk seal that has been hooked for months.

RH48, also known as Lei Ola, is a 2-year-old female seal on Oahu.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, she was first spotted with a circle hook in the right corner of her mouth in late September.

NOAA staff and volunteers have been unable to remove it because she frequents rocky areas and tide pools that make it unsafe for them to capture her.

Fortunately, officials say, the hook is non-life-threatening, and RH48 remains in excellent health.

There is no apparent swelling or infection, and the hook doesn’t seem to impede her ability to eat or move.

NOAA is hoping to remove the hook once she climbs onto a safer location.

The public is asked to report all sightings of RH48, or other seals, to 1-888-256-9840.

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