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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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Posted: Thursday, January 31st, 2013 9:08 AM HST

Hawaiian monk seal found with spear in head

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii authorities say an endangered Hawaiian monk seal was found near Oahu with a spear in her head.

Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William Aila said Wednesday the department is investigating whether someone intentionally or accidentally speared the animal.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports state conservation officials helped dislodge the spear from the 1-year-old seal at Rabbit Island on Tuesday. The seal swam away afterward. Officials say the wound appears to have been superficial.

Hawaii News Now reports the animal is known as RL-12 and was born last June.

Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species. There are only 1,100 seals remaining, and their population is declining 4 percent per year.

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