Young monk seal dies after being found floating near Hawaii

HONOLULU — A juvenile monk seal that was one of four born in 2017 has died.

The seal was found on Christmas Day floating listlessly in waters near Hawaii. It was brought to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s monk seal treatment facility on Oahu. It died on Friday from what experts believe might have been a severe infection.

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The seal, RJ16, was commonly known as “Kahulu.”

A blood test indicated it had an infection of unknown origin.

Other tests found no sign of evidence that the seal had ingested a fish hook or other foreign body.

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An administration report said the seal received intensive medical care, including nutrition, fluids, vitamins and a broad range of medications.

The cause of death remains undetermined pending the results of further diagnostic tests.