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Monk seal 'Honey Girl' ready for release

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 7:21 a.m. HST, Nov 29, 2012

State and federal officials plan to announce the release of the Hawaiian monk seal R5AY back to the wild after she's recovered from a fish hook injury.

The seal known as "Honey Girl" had surgery to repair her tongue at the Honolulu Zoo last week. She's since been recovering at the Waikiki Aquarium.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says the seal will be released today if all goes well.

Honey Girl was close to death when she was rescued on Nov. 17. An ulua hook was lodged in her cheek for at least three weeks.

State and federal officials responded to 14 Hawaiian monk seal hooking incidents so far this year. Three hookings have ended in death.

Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species.

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