B.C. rescuers, experts concerned about condition of three entangled humpbacks

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While rescuers managed to get some gear off one of the animals, they are not sure how the other two are faring

This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy.Marine mammal rescue groups and federal fisheries officials are not sure how much fishing gear three entangled humpback whales seen in the waters off the coast of British Columbia are still carrying, leaving experts worried.

The whale has a trap and line running through its mouth and is trailing other gear. Rescuers also realized that someone had cut off the buoy making it difficult to spot the animal.They are hoping to use drones to confirm how much fishing gear it is carrying when they spot the humpback, he said. “The fact that the gear goes through the mouth doesn’t give me a lot of hope the gear will just come off on its own,” said the science director for the SeaDoc Society from the University of California, Davis.“Those poor entangled whales. I’m not optimistic this will turn out well. Honestly, it makes me sad to think about.”

If rescuers are called as soon as the animal is seen they can get there quickly and assess the situation, he said. Occasionally they can shed it but at other times the first set of gear can attach to more, causing the animal to drag several metres of net and line, he added.

 

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