HONOLULU (AP) — A female humpback whale traveling with a male and a calf has been freed after it was found entangled in a line with a large bundle of marine debris attached.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the whale was freed while swimming in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary off Maui.
There was more than 500 feet of line wrapped tightly around the humpback’s head.
The agency said tight wraps on the head are dangerous to the trained response teams that approach the whales to cut the animals free.
It reportedly took about six hours to free the whale.
“Once freed, the mother and her calf went into resting behavior, with the calf tucking under the mother’s chin. The successful response increased the survival chances for both the mother and her calf,” NOAA said in a statement.