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Official looking into case of monk seal speared at Rabbit Island

  • NOAA released this photo of a monk seal that was wounded by spear. (Courtesy photo)

    NOAA released this photo of a monk seal that was wounded by spear. (Courtesy photo)

Authorities in Hawaii are investigating the spearing of an endangered monk seal found on Rabbit Island.

The 1-year-old female seal had a three-pronged spear lodged in her head when found by state conservation officials Tuesday afternoon, said William Aila, chairman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Aila, speaking at a news conference this afternoon, said the wounds were apparently superficial and that the seal swam away after officials helped dislodge the barb from her head.

Aila said his department and federal officials were investigating whether the spearing was intentional or accidental.

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