Rescue search teams say they may have spotted the entangled blue whale near Mexico. Unfortunately, the blue whale had become wrapped up in heavy fishing line last week, but rescue teams based in the United States say they cannot follow the blue whale so far down south, which brings their search to a dead end unless the giant marine mammal decides to set a course back toward U.S. waters.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the extinction of the blue whale species is feared in modern times, since there are only about 10,000 blue whales left in the entire world.
This past Friday, a whale-watching boat first spotted a blue whale entangled in fishing line. The blue whale was in distress, diving in and out of the water, so they reached out to marine expert Peter Wallerstein of the Marine Animal Rescue, who in turn notified NOAA officials about the trapped whale.
“The whale just wasn’t acting right,” said Harbor Breeze Cruises Capt. Danny Salas. “It looked like it was a little tired. Swimming extremely slow.”
The Marine Animal Rescue team said they were able to attach a buoy to the large animal, but they were unable to cut any of the lines entangling the blue whale since it did not surface enough.
“We would have loved to cut it all off and free the whale but sometimes things are impossible and it endangers the rescuers as we’re doing it,” said Wallerstein, according to CBS. “It could ram us, it could hit us with its tail, it could do some major damage. It’s a really, really dangerous situation.”
Rescue teams had feared the blue whale dead after it was not sighted again for so many days. Experts were concerned that the entangled blue whale would have trouble eating and then die.
Although the entangled blue whale did not die, a boater spotted the blue whale and its red buoy near the Coronado Islands in Mexico. Unfortunately, this means the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is limited in what they can do for the meantime.
“There’s not much we can do unless the whale turns north and comes back up,” said Jim Milbury, NOAA’s public affairs officer.
Milbury says the U.S.-based rescue teams will respond if any one sees the entangled blue whale in U.S. waters. In the meantime, NOAA is in contact with a marine rescue in Mexico called RABEN. But even the Mexican group’s hands are tied, since they need the blue whale to swim further south before they can act.
Rescuers are asking that any further sightings of the entangled blue whale be reported to (877) SOS-WHALE.
[Image via World Animal Protection]