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Whale rescue fogged in

Associated Press
June 26/01

    PROVINCETOWN, Mass. Morning fog yesterday foiled an attempt by a team of marine scientists to help a whale that is entangled in fishing line off Cape Cod.
   The marine scientists left Provincetown, but the weather proved too foggy for a plane to find the whale's exact location, and the whale was moving too quickly for the scientists' boat to catch up, National Marine Fisheries Service spokeswoman Teri Frady said.
    The scientists planned to try again today.
   They had plann ed surgery to remove the line from the infected jaw of the 15-metre North Atlantic right whale, but Ms. Frady said an extensive operation may not be necessary because aerial photographs taken June 19 showed the line had shifted in the whale's jaw.
    "We're hopeful that it has loosened and we'll be able, without any extraordinary measures, to make a cut that will free the line," Ms. Frady said yesterday.
   The distressed whale, thought to be headed for the Bay of Fundy, was first spotted on June 8 about 130 kilometres east of Cape Cod with the thick plastic line embedded deep in its upper jaw. Scientists say the rope is causing an infection that would eventually kill the whale, one of only about The distressed whale, thought to be headed for the Bay of Fundy, was first spotted on June 8 about 130 kilometres east of Cape Cod with the thick plastic line embedded deep in its upper jaw. Scientists say the rope is causing an infection that would eventually kill the whale, one of only about 300 left in the world.

Entangled right whale rescue fails, called off

Associated Press
June 27/01

    PROVINCETOWN, Mass. Marine scientists failed in their attempt to sedate a rare whale entangled in fishing line yesterday, returning to shore frustrated they could do nothing more to help the injured animal.
   Officials said the scientists have no plans to make another attempt to save the whale because they have tried everything and failed.
    "For the short term, they're done," said U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service spokeswoman Teri Frady.
    "The thinking is the same group will look at the data they got today and we will hopefully be able to improve on it for the next time. "
   Rescuers, working from rubber dinghies, attached a buoy to the line to keep the endangered North Atlantic right whale from diving. But the sedative they twice injected into the whale appeared to have no effect and they were unable to move close enough to loosen the thick, plastic line embedded deep in its jaw.
   Officials said the whale has grown sicker from an infection resulting from the line hooked in its mouth. They said the rope has started to fray.
   But Ms. Frady said the line 'appears to have moved through the wound slightly, leaving scientists to hope the whale, may free itself naturally.


A North Atlantic right whale comes up for a breath moments after a second sedative injection yesterday off the coast of Chatham, Mass. The sedative appeared to have no effect and rescuers were unable to get close enough to loosen the thick, plastic line embedded deep in its jaw.

    "There's still some possibility this animal may surprise us yet," she said.
   The injured 15-metre-long whale, thought to be headed for the Bay of Fundy, was first spotted June 8, some 130 kilometres east of Cape Cod.
   Yesterday marked the first time scientists made contact with the whale since June 9, when they attached a tracking buoy. Since then, the whale's movements have made it difficult for rescuers to reach, Ms. Frady said.
   There are only about 300 right whales left in the world.

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