South African Rescuers Free Whale from Fishing Ropes

PetMD Editorial
Published: June 21, 2011
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JOHANNESBURG - Rescuers in South Africa on Tuesday freed a humpback whale from fishing ropes off the shore of Olifantsbospunt, near Cape Town, an official said.

The whale, some 36 feet (11 meters) long, had caught its torso and flipper in ropes attacked to rock lobster traps on the seabed, Mike Meyers of the South African Whale Disentanglement Network said in a statement.

During the rescue operation, "two larger adult whales appeared and it looked like they were giving some encouragement to the entangled whale," Meyers said.

"They hovered around and swam alongside the casualty whale while our members worked to cut the whale free."

He said all the ropes, netting and buoys were cut off the whale and it swam off looking unscathed.

Image (not the whale in question): Big Blue Ocean / via Flickr

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