A baby humpback whale had to be rescued after it became entangled in a shark net near Southport, Australia on Monday. Staff from the Gold Coast Sea World park worked quickly to reach the calf and immediately began cutting the net away.
The whale's mother never swam more than a few meters away from her baby, according to rescuers. Trevor Long of Sea World said in the video that it was clear the mother would never leave her calf. "There's a very very strong parental bond between these animals."
7 News reported that this was the fourth whale to become trapped in a shark net this year on the Gold Coast. Shark nets are submerged around beaches to reduce the number of shark attacks, and are supposed to include sonic "pingers" to deter dolphins, whales and sharks from approaching the mesh.
In July, Sea World rescued another baby whale from a shark net. Long told the Gold Coast Bulletin that it is quite common for young whales to get caught. “Their mums bring them in close to the beach on their southern migration so they’re the major animals we deal with in the nets.”
Other groups, including the Australia Zoo and conservation group Shark Savers have questioned whether shark nets are effective and criticized their impact on marine life.
The baby whale was able to swim away with its mother after being set free.