Rescuers hope to free entangled humpback whale in Hawaii by cutting rope
HONOLULU — Marine sanctuary officials are still working to cut loose a young humpback whale entangled in several hundred yards of heavy plastic rope in Hawaiian waters.
The rope is twisted in a knot and runs through the animal's mouth, around its head and behind its blowhole.
A whale-watching cruise spotted the animal Tuesday in waters off Maui. About a hundred yards of the polypropylene line came free Wednesday, but several hundred yards are still attached.
A crew with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary used a knife attached to a pole to try to cut the rope Wednesday but couldn't reach it. They didn't go in the water Thursday because of windy weather and because the whale was farther offshore.
The crew is tracking the whale with a transmitter they attached to the rope Tuesday. They planned to return to the water Friday with a longer pole.
-- Associated Press
Photo: The juvenile humpback whale, shown entangled in polypropylene rope off the coast of Maui on Dec. 1. Credit: Associated Press