South African rescuers free whale from fishing ropes

21st June 2011, Comments 0 comments

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 11 metres (36 feet) 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.

© 2011 AFP

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