According to a group of researchers, a humpback whale that had been stuck entangled in ropes was saved from becoming dinner for a hungry great white shark. The researchers were trying to determine the levels of gas the whales are exhaling when they came across a humpback whale that had a rope around its body and was immobilized by it. The humpback whale was found on Saturday in the waters of Sellwagen Bank, Massachusetts, which is an area known for being a feeding place for the whales.
The scientists stated they found the animal unable to move at the water’s surface; the marine creature was entangled from mouth to tail in the rope, which made it impossible for it to escape. While the humpback whale was tied, a great white shark took advantage of its immobility and started biting it, tearing a big part of the whale’s flank.
The researchers don’t know for how long the whale had been like that, but according to Dr. Jooke Robbins, a researcher at the Humpback Whale Research, when they first spotted the unmoving animal, they first assumed it was only resting. The biologists managed to free the whale while a great white shark which was more than 15 foot long circled the waters. The rescuers used a 35-foot response boat they call Ibis in order to maintain a safe distance between them and the ferocious great white while they cut the rope tied around the whale’s body.
Once the great white left the area, the rescuers moved closer to the humpback whale using a small rubber dingy. Then they were able to remove the rope that was tightly wrapped around the animal’s tail. As soon as they released it, the whale swam away from them out to sea.
The humpback whale was rescued by the Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team who has freed many animals, including more than 200 whales. According to their reports, they have managed to rescue 11 entangled humpback whales in 2015. The rescue team advises people to contact them should they see anything suspicious off the gulf of Maine.
Scott Landry, one of the rescuers working for the Marine Animal Entanglement Response, said that the humpback whale was extremely lucky to have escaped from the shark’s attack. He added that entangled whales are an easy prey for the sharks and they always take advantage of this.
Image Source: sciencenutshell