A moment as moving as it is tragic. An endangered North Atlantic right whale gave birth to a calf while trapped in a fishing net.
There are believed to be only 350 individuals currently alive. The North Atlantic right whale is an endangered species. This explains the concern of scientists when they discover a specimen of this species, trapped in a fishing net off Georgia (United States).
This entangled whale gave birth to its calf under these conditions, but according to the US agency AP, scientists are not very optimistic. They explain that the fishing net was stuck in the animal’s mouth. “Experts have determined that they cannot safely attempt to help,” the news agency said.
Scientists have spotted an endangered right whale off the coast of Georgia that gave birth while entangled in fishing rope. Wildlife experts worry the mother may struggle to nurse her calf and still have the energy needed to keep dragging the fishing line.
– The Associated Press (@AP) December 6, 2021
The whale has been dragging this fishing net since at least March. Animal experts intervened at this time but they were not able to free him completely. They just shortened the rope, says AP.
If the fact that the whale still managed to give birth to its offspring is “unbelievable”, “on the other hand, it could ultimately be a death sentence for her“, say the scientists. not having enough energy to both breastfeed, drag this net and try to heal from his wounds to the mouth, caused by the rope.
Concern for the calf
But if the scientists concluded that an intervention presented too much risk, they are worried on the other hand for the survival of the calf, because of the two pieces of net which come out of the mouth of the right whale. “If those two pieces of rope ended up knotting and there was a loop, you might imagine that the calf might end up tangling.”
As a reminder, the extinction of right whales is largely linked to commercial hunting. From now on, it is the consequences of industrial fishing (shocks with boats, entanglement with nets) which decimates the population of these animals, underlines AP.