Spanish divers have freed a 39-foot humpback whale entangled in an illegal fishing net off the Balearic island of Mallorca.
The whale was spotted by a ship about three miles off the eastern coast of Mallorca, prompting Palma de Mallorca’s Aquarium marine rescue centre into action.
Divers discovered the whale completely trapped in the red fishnet so it could not even open its mouth.
After initial attempts to cut the net from a boat failed, divers from Albatros and Skualo diving centres joined the effort.
“The first ten seconds she got a bit nervous, you know, like bubbles everywhere, but then I don’t know, call me crazy but I think she knew we were there to help her and she just relaxed and we started working from the front of her mouth backwards,” said marine biologist Gigi Torras.
“We kept cutting and cutting and she kind of gave a little wiggle to get herself out of it,” Torras said, adding that the mammal then stayed for a bit to regain her strength in the company of the four divers and even gave what looked like “a little thank you sign” before swimming off.