New Zealand rescuers save trapped whale

New Zealand rescuers today saved the life of a humpback whale which had been entangled for at least two days in a heavy nylon rope.

Rescuers in two boats took seven hours to slowly tire out the 39-foot animal before they could cut off the rope.

The 30-ton humpback was spotted close to North Island’s east coast by a fisherman on Monday, with heavy green nylon rope wrapped around its head and tail.

“Immediately following its release, the whale headed steadily out to sea,” Conservation Department spokeswoman Carolyn Smith Smith said. “Without intervention, the whale would have died.”

Later a second whale was reported with a rope and a plastic buoy tangled near its mouth in the same area. Rescuers hope to tackle it tomorrow.

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