Rare Humpback Whale Rescued in Teriberka


A Red Book humpback whale got tangled in nets in Teriberka, but it was successfully rescued. Rescuers spent up to 14 hours a day at sea, trying to get close to the animal and help sustain its life.

«‎A lot of important work was done. This is the first successful whale disentanglement operation in Russia. Every day, rescuers spent up to 14 hours at sea, trying to get close to the animal. The whale was actively feeding with its pod, and larger relatives shielded it from the boat with scientists. Nevertheless, after several days and many attempts, they managed to cut the rope that was squeezing the whale's neck»,‎ Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources wrote.

Tourists had previously reported that due to the nets, the whale was tangled and couldn't fully open its mouth.‎ Specialists from public organizations ‎Marine Mammal Council and Friends of the Ocean‎ arrived in Teriberka. The specialists tracked the whale, which was feeding with its relatives 60 km from Teriberka, and planned to cut the net with special equipment. However, in several instances, the mother of the calf intervened, swimming up and shielding it from the rescuers.

It was also reported that the company Norilsk Nickel‎ provided a fleet for the operation. Experts from Sakhalin island were brought to the rescue site. Volunteers arrived daily. People across Russia followed the operation and named the whale Stanislav.

«‎Humpback whales are named for their massive dorsal fin, which resembles a hump. An adult reaches up to 19 meters in length and weighs up to 53 tons. Humpback whales are found throughout the world's oceans, except for ice-covered waters, mostly near the coast. They can be seen year-round in the Barents Sea, but the best chance is from late April to July, when they migrate along the coast of Teriberka in search of food. The animal is listed in the Red Book: about 30,000 of these marine mammals die annually due to human activity, including getting entangled in fishing nets. This is why it was our duty to help Stanislav the whale»,‎ commented in The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

At present, the animal's life is not in danger.