WILMINGTON, N.C., March 26 (UPI) -- U.S. whale rescue workers halted efforts Friday to free a right whale from a fishing net.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the whale, first spotted off the east coast of Florida with a net wrapped around it, was last seen traveling north along the Carolina coast -- fishing net was still wrapped around the whale.
Bad weather forced workers to call off their rescue efforts.
"We are not giving up on attempts to save this whale,
however, we have decided for now that it is best to postpone
disentanglement operations," said Teri Rowles, lead veterinarian for NOAA's fisheries program and the head of the nation's Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.
"As long as the tracking device stays on the whale and functions correctly, we will continue to monitor his location and assess the situation. As you can imagine we are very disappointed."
The team had planned to intercept the whale and attempt to remove as much rope and gear as it could Friday, but during the night the whale traveled north quickly and ended up off Cape Lookout in North Carolina and out of range of the team's research vessel.