Hook removed from the mouth of Kaimana the monk seal
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries division says it received a report on Tuesday that Kaimana the monk seal had what looked to be a fish hook in the left corner of the mouth.
HONOLULU - The monk seal named Kaimana that became a sensation in Waikiki is getting a new kind of attention.
She was found with a 1-inch circle hook stuck in the left corner of her mouth Tuesday afternoon at Malaekahana State Park in Laie.
A volunteer from the Hawaiian Marine Animal Response Program spotted the non-life-threatening hook while taking photos for sightings information. The NOAA response team was immediately alerted, and six people including a veterinarian captured and sedated the seal.
“They were very easily able to remove the hook from the seal. They gave the seal reversal medication, and the seal quickly woke up and retreated like nothing happened back into the ocean. She’s doing just fine.” Said David Schofield, NOAA Regional Marine Mammal Response Coordinator.
NOAA says around a dozen hookings occur each year, most commonly with seals and smaller dolphins.
NOAA asks fisherman who think they may have hooked a seal to call the marine mammal hotline as soon as possible at 1-888-256-9840, with no penalty.
NOAA Fisheries will work with Hawaiian Marine Animal Response to monitor the seal's health.
This is the second time that Kaimana has become hooked. In September, she was seen with a treble hook and lure stuck in her lower lip.