Hawaiian monk seal dies after swallowing fish hook

HONOLULU (AP) — An endangered Hawaiian monk seal has died after swallowing a large fishing hook.

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HONOLULU (AP) — An endangered Hawaiian monk seal has died after swallowing a large fishing hook.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday the hook was lodged in the throat of the eight-month-old seal.

Volunteers first saw several feet of fishing line trailing from the seal’s mouth on Dec. 17. A team brought her in for surgery after finding her again 10 days later.

The position and size of the hook made for a long and difficult operation, as did accumulated scar tissue and the seal’s small size.

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The surgery succeeded, but the seal showed signs of shock and other complications shortly after. Veterinarians and researchers worked for 6 hours to stabilize her but were unable to keep her alive.

NOAA scientists are urging fishermen to use barbless hooks as they’re easier to remove from animals that accidentally swallow them.