Rescuers free whale of rope, buoys off Maui

Published On: Apr 07 2014 01:26:22 PM HST
HONOLULU -

A team led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration successfully freed an entangled humpback whale off Maui over the weekend.

The Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary said Monday a line of undetermined origin was caught in the whale's mouth. The rope trailed about 120 feet behind the animal to a pair of buoys.

The sanctuary says the whale was in good condition, but the entanglement would have interfered with its ability to feed and would have threatened its life.

A Pacific Whale Foundation vessel first spotted the entangled whale Sunday morning. The response team freed the animal by midday.

The whale was last seen heading north after rescuers removed the gear.

The sanctuary says the whale isn't among multiple entangled animals reported last week.

PHOTOS: Whale entanglements in Hawaii waters

Click here to see pictures of entangled whales in Hawaiian waters.

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