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Rescued 12-Meter Humpback Whale in Spain Expresses ‘Thank You’ to Divers

A 12-meter humpback whale gestured its thanks to a group of Spanish divers who rescued it from a drift net. According to Newsbreak, one of the divers described the encounter as an incredible experience.

The ship spotted the humpback whale three miles off the east coast of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, where sightings of such whales are rare and have only been reported twice before.

For Gigi Torras, a 32-year-old marine biologist, the whale’s grateful response is the best birthday present. Torras was part of a rescue group.

Torras told Reuters news agency about the experience and said it was an extraordinary experience for her. The rescue took place on May 20.

Officials said they discovered the frail whale completely trapped in a red net so that the mammal could not even open its mouth.

Staff from Palma de Mallorca’s Aquarium swung into action when they learned about the trapped whale.

Thank you!

In the first rescue attempts, the members of the marine department tried to cut the net from a boat. However, they found that they had to get closer to the whale to make a difference.

On May 20, divers from the Albatros and Skualo dive centers were called in. The crew then dove up to the whale to cut the net with knives, concluding the rescue operation after 45 minutes.

Torras, the owner of the Albatros Dive Center, reported how crew members saw the humpback whale calm down after an initial period of nervousness.

Torras said the whale got a little nervous in the first 10 seconds and bubbles started popping up everywhere.

Torras later added that from her perspective, the whale knew Torras and her team were there to help. The whale was able to relax and the dive team began to work from front to back.

She added that the team continued to cut the net, after which the mammal wriggled a bit to free itself from the net.

The whale, Torras said, then stayed for a while to regain its strength while four divers kept it company.

But before it swam away after escaping, the mammal gave something that looked like a sign of thank you.

The UN banned drift nets 30 years ago because they pose a major threat to aquatic life.

Virtually invisible to marine life, drift nets float on a cork line and reach depths of 50 feet to catch fish.

Drift gillnets can also kill a range of marine life, including larger underwater mammals such as whales, seals and dolphins, and seabirds.

Read also: Another Humpback Whale ‘Unlikely to Survive’ After Getting Entangled in Fishing Net 

Whales

Whales are found throughout the world’s oceans. This species communicates with complex and mysterious sounds. The blue whale can reach a length of over 100 feet and weigh up to 200 tons, which can be compared to 33 elephants.

Whales are warm-blooded animals that breathe air and nurse their young. Bubbler, a thick layer of fat insulates them from the cold seawater.

Some whales are known as baleen whales because they have special bristle-like structures in their mouths called baleen that pulls food out of the water.

Other whales, such as beluga or sperm whales, do not have baleen but instead have teeth.

Related article: Humpback Whales No Longer Endangered Species, But Experts Are Still Worried 


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