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Humpback calf apparently frees itself

Posted: May 3, 2012 - 12:14am

JUNEAU — A humpback whale calf was apparently able to shed fishing gear that ensnared it.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says in a release that the calf and its mother were first spotted Tuesday near Admiralty Island trailing an orange buoy.

Officials found the calf entangled, and tagged the fishing gear to track the whales overnight.

Data showed the whale traveled about 50 nautical miles overnight, but wound up near where it was tagged.

Officials found only the tag and fishing gear Wednesday morning. They say the calf worked its way out of the net, and the pair of humpbacks moved off.

Besides the buoy, officials found about 300 feet of fishing line.

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