What's going on with Hawaiian seals? Nobody nose

We have now found juvenile seals with eels stuck in their noses on multiple occasions," the HMSRP added.

The NOAA has proposed two hypotheses: first, that eels launch themselves defensively at the seals while they are foraging for food, shoving their mouths and noses into the crevices of coral reefs and under rocks.

Animal lovers nevertheless took to Facebook to express their alarm, questioning why an eel would undertake such a foolhardy mission.

The HMSRP has warned that the seals are at risk from infections and toxins produced by microalgae that accumulate in coral reef-associated fish.

Nose blockages could also hamper the seals' ability to dive, as the mammals typically need to close their nostrils when under water.

This undignified incident is just the latest in a long (and wriggly) line of eel invasions to strike the Hawaiian monk seals -- a phenomenon that was first spotted in the summer of 2016 off Hawaii's Lisianski Island.

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