A California gray whale caught in a discarded fishing net has finally been freed. Volunteers cut the net for seven hours to get the large whale free, and did so very carefully so they would not hurt it. The large net had been attached to the whale for almost a week. Dragging the net through water must have been exhausting, especially as there were a number of marine species inside it, such as a two angel sharks, a sea lion, and a leopard shark, along with crabs, fishes and rays.
The whale was struggling to breathe and could not feed itself because of the netting entanglement. Volunteers could see they were racing against time to free the whale before it died. Another factor which made them desire to get it free was the fact it is young, and could have a much longer life. Fortunately they did get it free, “All the staff was really emotional at the end of the rescue because usually the whale does not make it in this type of situation,” said Dana Friedman, a volunteer with the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. (Source: Laguna Beach Independent)
About two years ago a different California gray whales was found in the same area, also entangled in fishing gear and it was freed, but it died due to injuries sustained during the incident. Around the world scores of marine mammals are dying every day due to similar situations. Barring premature death from human-based problems, gray whales can live over fifty years. About 22,000 are living in the wild currently, though before whaling there might have been four times as many.
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