Rescuers free hunchbacked baby tangled in abandoned fishing net

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A baby humpback whale has been freed after a seven-hour rescue operation when it got tangled in an abandoned fishing net.

Footage shows the trapped baby humpback whale struggling as it tries to free itself from the fishing net. The footage also shows rescuers helping the whale. Divers can be seen jumping into the water during the operation which lasted seven hours and freed the animal.

Zenger News obtained a statement from the Colombian Navy on Sunday saying, “In Colombian Pacific waters, the Colombian Navy assisted rescuers in saving the life of a whale.

Colombian Navy Coast Guard boats head for the trapped baby humpback whale off Bahia Solano, Colombia. Rescuers managed to remove part of the net and the animal swam away.
Armada of Colombia/Zenger

The Navy added: “In an interagency effort between the Colombian Navy, the Ankla Azul Diving Center, the General Maritime Directorate, the Macuatico Colombia Foundation and the National Natural Parks of Colombia, they managed to free a calf that had been trapped in a fishing net in deep waters.”

They said the incident happened near Bahia Solano, which is a municipality and town in the department of Choco in western Colombia.

The Navy added: “Officials of the Utría National Natural Park were responsible for alerting personnel at the Bahia Solano coastguard station to the presence of a calf whose fin was entangled in trammel, preventing its normal movement in water”.

A trammel net is a three-walled net used to catch a wide variety of fish.

The Navy also said: “Immediately, a rapid reaction unit from the Bahia Solano coast guard station was deployed, which carried out maritime patrol and control tasks in the sector where the cetacean was spotted, in the purpose of providing accompaniment and carrying out maritime operations controls to prevent approaching vessels that could affect the mammal.

“Similarly, a naval unit was organized to transfer a team of divers to the Ankla company sector with officials from the National Authority for Aquaculture and Fisheries – Aunap, and personnel from the captain of the port of Bahia Solano, Codechoco, the Macuatico Foundation and National Natural Parks of Colombia to begin the work of freeing the whale and saving its life.”

The navy explained that the rescue team managed to pull out the fishing net and once freed, it swam away. The Navy said, “Once the protocols were verified, much of the trammel was removed from the animal’s fin, allowing it to regain mobility and submerge out of sight of dive personnel.”

The Colombian Navy is committed to continuing to protect “life at sea in all its forms”.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

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