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Necropsy indicates monk seal died from fish hook

By Rosemarie Bernardo

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:45 p.m. HST, Feb 05, 2013


A juvenile monk seal that died after it was spotted in a lethargic state off of Hawaii island ingested a fishing hook, according to a necropsy conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries.

The monk seal, identified as RK68, was spotted Friday near Mahukona on the west coast of Hawaii island. The Coast Guard flew the mammal to Oahu for medical treatment, but its injuries caused by the hook were severe.

An X-ray showed the hook lodged in its esophagus. Charles Littnan, head of NOAA's Hawaii monk seal recovery program, said scar tissue began to form around the hook, causing the monk seal to suffocate. 

Officials believe the hook ingestion was the cause of the monk seal’s death.

The mammal could have been hooked several weeks to several months ago. 

At a news briefing held today, William Aila Jr., director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Aila urged the public to report monk seal hookings as soon as possible.

This is the first monk seal death of the year.

The necropsy also showed healing fractured rib wounds. 

Littnan, said the rib injuries were not related to the hooking. The injury probably happened when the mammal was much younger, he said. The injury was a result of blunt force trauma that was likely human-related, kicking or hitting with a foreign object. 

K68 was able to recover from its rib fractures but subsequently got hooked, said Littnan. 

Another juvenile monk seal, identified as RT12, was spotted Monday with a hook in its tongue. Veterinarians performed minor surgery this morning and successfully removed the hook, said Littnan. 

To report a monk seal in distress, call the toll-free hotline at 1-888-256-9840. 







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allie wrote:
Oddly many "native" fisherman love hurting nature and these dear animals. Not sure why that it is except the usual hypocrisy and shibai out here
on February 5,2013 | 11:35AM
HD36 wrote:
And you know this because? ... Did you see "native" fisherman using bait specifically aimed at seals and turltes? Did you see them jumping for joy while torturing a seal or turtle? Were they wearing a shirt that that said, " I'm a sadistic native fisherman"
on February 5,2013 | 12:20PM
allie wrote:
just reporting what fishermen tell me
on February 5,2013 | 01:11PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
more ALL-LIE BS. The voices in your head are like you...not credible sources. Are you trying to say that your lying, misrepresentation of fact and desire to foment hatred of all kinds is due to these voices in your head? Interesting how someone still standing behind a pizza shop cash register in their supposed senior year in college can accomplish so little but CLAIM to know so much. ALL-LIE so you're saying your "reality" is based on these non existent people talking to you??
on February 5,2013 | 02:33PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
HD - of course nothing ALL-LIE says is based on fact. But since he likes to use the work shibai alot I think a good word to describe allie the dolt is "bakatare"
on February 5,2013 | 02:37PM
HD36 wrote:
I can just picture him going up to a fisherman asking, Hey you caught anything?" Fisherman, " I'm not really fishing, I just like torturing seals and turtles, but I haven't hooked any yet." " But if I do, can you pass me that blow torch and pliers?"
on February 5,2013 | 03:53PM
8082062424 wrote:
not odd at all again one of your anti native comments. this deal died of a fish hook. Miiss im so smart but no nothing. go out to west side you will see seals and turtles on the beach and no one bothers them. in fact they feel lucky to be able to see them there. And after all that where most natives live. you need to go back to your reservation already.
on February 5,2013 | 12:26PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
ALL-LIE hypocrisy is something you are deservedly associated with as you are the first to point out faults in others that are blatantly present in yourself. This animal abuse is like the killings of Bald Eagles that occur on the Fort Berthold Reservation for sale of their feathers in North Dakota. When the perps are apprehended guess who gets caught selling those feathers?
on February 5,2013 | 02:21PM
shakakong wrote:
Such a sad tragic event to such a beautiful creature......
on February 5,2013 | 11:38AM
goofyfoot808 wrote:
We fishermen told you not to introduce more seals to the Main Hawaiian Islands. But, the seals, and turtles, shouldn't complain, they get free health care!!
on February 5,2013 | 11:45AM
hoonui wrote:
Why did they introduce you to the Hawaiian Islands? Such an ignorant person.
on February 5,2013 | 01:51PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
hoonui - looks like ALL-LIE's cousin.
on February 5,2013 | 02:39PM
Anonymous wrote:
Hoonui is correct. 21 MALE monk seals were brought down in 1994, but as you know from biology, that doesn't affect the population growth rate AT ALL. A few have certainly come down on their own, but 98% of the seals here were born here.
on February 5,2013 | 03:29PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
I was agreeing with Hoonui, I'm saying fishhook goofy looks like ALL-LIE's cousing
on February 5,2013 | 05:23PM
Anonymous wrote:
Ah - sorry, you'd replied to hoonui and it looked like the all-lie was in reference to them. Many apologies.
on February 5,2013 | 08:25PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Sad story. But now they should just stuff it and leave on the beach at Laniakea. The tourists would still take photos and frankly, it's hard to tell when one of these is sleeping or dead unless you hold a mirror under its nose.
on February 5,2013 | 11:59AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Bakatare
on February 5,2013 | 03:19PM
reefkeeper wrote:
NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU FEDS JUST LEFT THE SEALS AT THE NATIONAL RESERVE AND NOT TRANSPLANTED THEM TO THE MAIN EIGHT.STOP CONDEMING THE FISHERMEN IT'S YOU THE FEDS WHO ARE TO BLAME.
on February 5,2013 | 12:04PM
hoonui wrote:
I think ignorant people are to blame. Are you ignorant? Learn to co-exist and conduct your research further than 30 years ago.
on February 5,2013 | 01:55PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
hoonui - agree with you as far as ignorant people. Who ever was responsible for abusing the seal and breaking it's ribs was clearly ignorant and if or when caught should be HEAVILY FINED ($20K or more per incident). Unfortunately bringing these animals back so close to humans means bringing them into contact with human created problems such as ciguatera blooms, bacterial infections due to sewage runoffs (brown water), well meaning but completely ignorant folks "feeding" these wild animals.
on February 5,2013 | 03:14PM
Anonymous wrote:
I wish it were as easy as not "bringing these animals back so close to humans." They've returned to the main islands on their own - this is a recolonization, NOT a reintroduction. They came on their own and are a natural part of the marine ecosystem around Hawaii. This stuff is making international headlines, and the continued insistence by some of saying that monk seals are not native, makes Hawaiians (native and residents of the state), look ignorant and unable to understand science and reality.
on February 5,2013 | 03:34PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
They're having a similar problem in San Diego and other parts of California. However in the absence of their natural predators they create other environmental problems to compound those already created by humans
on February 5,2013 | 05:28PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Anonymous - the only one ignorant of science and REALITY is you. And I'm still waiting for your "solutions"
on February 5,2013 | 06:19PM
reefkeeper wrote:
THE FEDS ALSO PLAN TO BRING 60 MORE TO THE MAIN EIGHT THEN WHAT BLAME THE FISHERMEN AGAIN??
on February 5,2013 | 12:05PM
Anonymous wrote:
Not sure how often this needs to be said before it sinks into everyone's heads. 1) Monk seals are here in the main Hawaiian Islands naturally. As stated above the 21 MALES brought down in the 90's didn't do anything to affect the natural population growth. BUT IT WAS THE SEED THAT CREATED THE MYTHOLOGY THAT FEDS ARE BRINGING DOWN SEALS. They are not. 2) The Feds have proposed an idea of bringing seals down. PROPOSED. And then did this amazing thing to ask for public input before they did it. NOW LETS STOP HATING ON THE FEDS AND GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO SEE IF THEY LISTENED. If they didn't lets hear their reasons why. What happened in Hawaii and the rest of the world that the default in any discussion or debate is hate, rudeness, and name calling? A lazy man resorts to those tactics. People that truly care about shaping the future engage in informed dialog.
on February 5,2013 | 06:19PM
MakaniKai wrote:
A species known to inhabit this archipelago before humans arrived. Descendents now treated like trespassers in their native habitat. A sad and heartbreaking story indeed, Aloha Oe.
on February 5,2013 | 12:45PM
allie wrote:
agree
on February 5,2013 | 01:11PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
ALL-LIE as the perennial hypocrite in these forums who is known ONLY for making accusations based on innuendo, lies or distortion of fact. You don't even know enough to agree or disagree, anything you have to say would be based on your natural state...ignorance and stupidity.
on February 5,2013 | 02:26PM
Anonymous wrote:
Cunfuzd - not one single credible source has any evidence whatsoever of Hawaiian monk seals being found anywhere else in the world. The Caribbean monk seal went extinct in the 1950's, and the mediterranean monk seal is as similar to the Hawaiian monk seal as you are to chimpanzees. They are from the Hawaiian islands, and they don't know that some people draw an artificial invisible line between the northwestern and Main islands. Of course they were on all the islands before people were here. MakaniKai made a poignant and heartfelt comment and allie agreed. Regardless of whether you agree with their other comments, they're not lying about this.
on February 5,2013 | 03:43PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Ok, Anonymous so what solutions are you suggesting?
on February 5,2013 | 05:38PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
I agree MakaniKai made an excellent comment, ALL-LIE based on his history of falsehood diluted it. I am still waiting for your suggestions on solutions
on February 5,2013 | 05:56PM
Do_you_know_SHATA wrote:
What a waste of expense. Whose paying for the fuel the Coast Gaurd uses to fly the seal to Oahu or the health care of it. I hope not our tax dollars. Coast Guard can be used for much more important things.
on February 5,2013 | 12:54PM
hoonui wrote:
Similar to the cop issuing traffic tickets and it does not matter that they are enforcing the traffic laws because the police should not focus on laws that you and others disagree with.
on February 5,2013 | 01:58PM
kauai wrote:
Of course it's tax dollars being used for this situation/operation. The Coast Guard itself is paid for with tax dollars. Seems to me that a measure of an enlightened society/culture is that society's treatment of those less fortunate and less evolved than itself. Unfortunately this society of ours still has a ways to go considering the attitude expressed by the ...SHATA poster. Where's the compassion? Sheesh; I'm no fanatical animal lover, but slowly choking to death is certainly a horrible way to die.
on February 5,2013 | 02:16PM
Anonymous wrote:
The Coast Guard has to do a certain number of hours of training and flight time per month, outside of search & rescue missions and the like. Would you rather have them doing some something useful like this that has another valuable purpose, or would you rather have them do make up training missions and just fly around? I think this is a great use of my tax dollars to support military readiness.
on February 5,2013 | 03:36PM
Anonymous wrote:
There needs to be a moratorium on fishing. These days fishing has become overfishing and the collateral damage is everywhere, from depleted stocks to harmed sea life to obese people feasting on fried fish & all you can eat seafood because "it's healthy," to ecosystems getting all messed up.
on February 5,2013 | 01:23PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Anonymous - depleted NATIVE stocks are largely due to the Feds introducing species such as Ta'ape and Roi into our reef ecosystems to "fill gaps" in the reef ecology, never thinking that there may be a reason for these "gaps". Say what you will, I question the wisdom of re-introducing seals in close proximity to humans given our disconnect to our environment regardless of the fact that they were here before man. All you'll accomplish is introducing these seals to human created dangers such as ciguatera bloomsThese seals need to be protected in reserved areas away from natural human destructiveness.
on February 5,2013 | 02:56PM
Anonymous wrote:
Reintroduction isn't under discussion here. The seals have reintroduced themselves. They're here. They're native. And every single seal intentionally killed or hooked in the main islands has been born here. It's shameful and embarrassing. Coming up with reasons why it's not our responsibility just pushes solutions further down the road. Confront reality, do something useful, and become part of a productive conversation to find solutions for coexistence.
on February 5,2013 | 03:38PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Ok, so what solutions would you discuss?
on February 5,2013 | 05:33PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Anonymous - "Confront Reality"? REALLY?? The only one not in touch with REALITY here is YOU.
on February 5,2013 | 06:15PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
It is you that is ignorant of reality AND science. If humans and seals come in contact there will be destruction of the weaker. There is already legislation to protect these seals from molestation, how much has it done so far? Perhaps some, as most people will respect the law if not the animal, but as REALITY shows there are always those who will do what they're going to do regardless of the law. So, once again what solutions are you suggesting??
on February 5,2013 | 06:30PM
Anonymous wrote:
Smart enough to know I don't have all the answers. Something you apparently still need to learn. Solutions like fishermen n conservationists talk to each other? What r people willing to do to keep fishing but not have the monk seals disappear forever? I've heard of a thing called reasonable compromise and thought for some reason it might apply here. Humans can cause a lot of destruction. But to say that's the only option is selling humans short. Most monk seals are not bad. And neither are most fishermen. (and FYI there more than 1 anonymous posting here - not all same person.)
on February 5,2013 | 08:32PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
No I just know BS when I hear it
on February 6,2013 | 05:00AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Evidently not smart enough to offer any constructive suggestions, just second guessing others. But when asked for suggestions you deflect. You think fishermen and conservationists have not been talking? That's completely ignorant. I already stated that most fishermen obey the law. I responded to your generalized comment asking for specifics and I'm still waiting.
on February 6,2013 | 05:08AM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Anonymous - how much of that "all you can eat seafood" do you imagine is actually from here?
on February 5,2013 | 05:34PM
808kela wrote:
Poor little guy must've suffered a lot.... So sad
on February 5,2013 | 02:01PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
hoonui - agree with you as far as ignorant people. Who ever was responsible for abusing the seal and breaking it's ribs was clearly ignorant and if or when caught should be HEAVILY FINED ($20K or more per incident). Unfortunately bringing these animals back so close to humans means bringing them into contact with human created problems such as ciguatera blooms, bacterial infections due to sewage runoffs (brown water), well meaning but completely ignorant folks "feeding" these wild animals.
on February 5,2013 | 03:11PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
It is you that is ignorant of reality. If humans and seals come in contact there will be destruction of the weaker. There is already legislation to protect these seals from molestation, how much has it done so far? Perhaps some, as most people will respect the law if not the animal, but as REALITY shows there are always those who will do what they're going to do regardless of the law. So, what solutions are you suggesting??
on February 5,2013 | 05:47PM
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