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Monk seal that had CT scan is suffering from an infection

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — A Hawaiian monk seal that underwent a CT scan in a human hospital is suffering from muscle inflammation and infection.

West Hawaii Today reported Thursday that the scan performed April 21 at North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea discovered the 3-year-old female seal’s inflammation and infection in her back flippers spread to her bloodstream and caused a wide range of other problems.

The endangered mammal, identified as RH38, is one of only 1,400 alive in the wild.

Officials at the Marine Mammal Center say they suspect trauma as the initial cause of the injury based on the location and extent of the muscle damage, though the source is unknown.

The seal is currently receiving antibiotics, pain medications and laser therapy at the Big Island facility.