Entangled gray whale calf spotted off Southern California
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — Rescuers were unsuccessful in initial efforts to cut entangling gear from a gray whale calf traveling with its mother along the Southern California coast.
The calf was spotted Monday morning by the crew of a Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari vessel near the San Clemente Pier, The Orange County Register reported.
The whale watching vessel contacted the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s whale entanglement response team and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.
The whale watching boat was joined by three private boaters in tracking the pair while waiting for rescuers to arrive.
Giselle Anderson of Captain Dave’s said the baby appeared to be tangled in a float and line that went around its face and was possibly wrapped around its right pectoral flipper.
“It’s a pretty tough entanglement to work on, you have to get close to the face to cut,” Anderson said.
The rescuers were able to remove some of the entanglement but had to leave the whales as the sun went down Monday evening and it became more difficult to see them.
The whales migrate 10,000 miles (16,093 kilometers) round trip between feeding grounds in the Arctic and Mexico’s Baja California peninsula where they birth calves.