VANCOUVER — One of the three humpback whales entangled in fishing gear off the coast of British Columbia is now free, although the two other animals have not been located.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says rescue teams were able to confirm late Thursday using drones that the humpback named Checkmate was free of fishing gear.
Paul Cottrell, Pacific marine mammals co-ordinator, says humpbacks are acrobatic animals and the whale managed to slip out of the gear without help from rescuers.
The whale had a trap and line running through its mouth and rescuers had found that someone had cut off the buoy making it difficult to spot the animal.
Rescuers have yet to locate and confirm the condition of two other humpbacks that are also entangled in fishing gear.
Martin Haulena, head veterinarian at the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Centre and the Vancouver Aquarium, says this whale was lucky to get free.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 11, 2020.
The Canadian Press