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Humpback Whale Entangled in Cray-Pot Ropes

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Uploaded on May 18, 2011

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Rescue efforts are underway to free a humpback whale trapped in ropes off the coast of Western Australia. It's a difficult operation because divers cannot be used... and time is running out.

A humpback whale became entangled in ropes off the coast of Western Australia on Tuesday.

Television footage shot on Wednesday shows the 36 foot humpback moving through the water with ropes from a crayfish pot wrapped around its body.

Officials from the Department of Environment and Conservation have attached a satellite tracking device to the trailing ropes so the mammal can be followed and freed once weather permits.

Untangling the whale could be a difficult operation, as divers cannot be used.

A small boat will pull alongside the mammal so workers can reach the ropes.

The Department of Environment and Conservation is on the job.

[Doug Coughran, Department of Environment and Conservation]:
"It's very important that we take it at a steady pace."

The whale has the rope across its pectoral fin and around its body with about 32 foot trailing behind it.

There are fears if the ropes are not removed the whale might eventually die.

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