On Wednesday (August 1st) three whale watching boats off the coast of Portugal happened upon a killer whale calf that they thought was spyhopping repeatedly. As they drew closer however they discovered that the calf was entangled in a fishing net and was barely able to raise its head to breathe.
In a Facebook post, SeaXplorer Sagres reported that the mother was nearby but could only watch as her calf struggled against the grasp of the netting that ensnared the young whale. The people on the boats were determined to help, but the first attempts to cut the calf free were fruitless, raising the emotions even higher.
When emotions run high there is a tendency to act without forethought – but these seasoned crews took the time to assess the entanglement, then developed a successful plan.
One of the boats threw their anchor out, then circled the calf several times until the anchor line wrapped around the net’s line. The crew and some of the passengers then pulled up the anchor and attached net until finally there was just the rope around the calf’s tail fluke.
When the line was cut the freed calf rejoined it’s mother and everyone rejoiced – and people everywhere share in celebrating the actions by these quick acting, yet thoughtful, whale watching crews.
On this video you can see how everything went. The cutting of the rope and the young orca happily swimming next to her mum!
A very happy outcome by teamwork of all dolphin watching companies:
SeaXplorer Sagres Mar Ilimitado Sealife – Dolphin watching Algarve