A last-minute rescue operation is launched to rescue a humpback whale trapped in shark nets.
Image Courtesy: 9News
Experts say the young humpback whale is about ten years old, and this is the first whale collision this year due to the migration of mammals north for warm water. The incident took place near Coolangatta on the Gold Coast in Australia. The video, shared on social media, shows Sea World experts speeding to the spot in a speedboat to remove the nets. A 10-year-old whale is seen pulling water out of a 200-meter-long trap as it tries to escape.
According to 9 News, the whale was first heard of on Wednesday (August 11) by surfers near the popular Snapper Rocks swimming pool near Kulangatta. The rescue team boarded four boats to assess the situation before cutting off some of the whale’s ropes. Dr. Olaf Meinke of Griffith University said the task would be more difficult because the net would be loaded with two anchors.
He said: “That net has two anchors, so it reduces the weight of the animal.” The team used blades on long poles to cut a few ropes in the net but will have to return tomorrow to complete the work. This afternoon, Sea World crews told local media that a satellite tracking machine had been installed on the young whale and that a rescue operation was underway at first glance.
Some locals watching the rescue operation re-supported calls from environmental groups to remove the dangerous shark nets. “Is there no evidence that we need these things anymore?” One surfer asked. “Shark nets are just a tourist attraction; they don’t throw sharks out,” said another local. This is the first time whales heading north for warm water during the whale transition season have collided.
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