A four-year-old North Atlantic right whale is doing much better now than he was a week ago.

On Monday, biologists from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission partially freed whale No. 4057 of the 100-plus yards of lead-weighted rope he was dragging, according to a press release. After several attempts, staff disentangled the whale -- who also had injuries on his head and flukes -- from most of the rope with a cutting grapple.

A small portion likely remains in his baleen -- the filter-feeding material that hangs from the upper jaw of baleen whale species. Biologists hope the whale will shed the remaining rope on his own, but they won't know until No. 4057 is seen again.

The rescue was a highly-collaborative effort: he was originally spotted on Sunday off Jacksonville, Florida by UNC Wilmington researchers conducting an aerial survey for the U.S. Navy. A Duke University boat team, also doing research for the Navy, attached a tag to track the whale until the rescue team arrived. The whale moved northward overnight, and disentanglement efforts occurred about 40 miles east of Wolf Island, Georgia.

North Atlantic right whales are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and only about 450 individuals still exist, according to the press release.


Responses to "Biologists Free Whale From Fishing Gear Off Georgia Coast (Video)"

  1. Fili says:

    Thank you, to all of the people who helped this beautiful whale.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Awsome, thanks to all that helped this poor guy

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