IFAW races to disentangle a humpback whale from heavy fishing line off the coast of Iceland.
An International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) team composed of numerous British, Icelandic, and American experts rushed to aid an injured humpback whale that was spotted by a whale-watching group weeks earlier.
The Icelandic Coast Guard managed to find and tag the whale before it escaped them. They then began to cut away some of the heavy duty fishing line and netting that had cut into its tail.
Fearing the worst for the whale, the IFAW team moved in to finish the job before it was too late.
This type of rescue on a whale was the first of its kind in the dangerous water of the Icelandic coast. The men faced freezing, choppy water, pounding rain, and high winds from a growing storm to get to the whale to save it.
They spent four grueling hours chasing behind the humpback whale to carefully make cuts to free him. Even after all they cut away, some of the rope from the netting was embedded in its skin. The team is hoping that it will be expelled as the wounds heal.
The IFAW is keeping an eye on the whale and monitoring its movements. They hope that with the debris gone, her stress levels will drop and she will resume normal feeding habits to speed up her healing.
Congratulations to the brave team for venturing out into that nasty weather and saving the whale from a slow death. I hope all anglers see this as a reminder to clean up their scrape line and garbage to prevent incidents like this from occurring to not just whales, but all wildlife.