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Trapped whale calf freed from shark net by rescuers in Australia
Last Updated: 2018-10-09 14:45 | Xinhua
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A whale calf has been released from a shark net off Australia's Gold Coast, with the mother of the animal watching on as rescuers went to work.

The baby humpback whale was seen to be in distress about 50 meters from the shore early on Tuesday morning, with a rescue team being dispatched from Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol soon after.

"It was a very, very young calf -- heavily engaged in the net, it was almost enveloped in the net -- so quite distressing for the calf and quite distressing for the mother," Seaworld director of marine sciences, Trevor Long told local media.

Rescuers worked for almost an hour to free the calf, which had sustained cuts and abrasions.

"The mother was very close to the calf and very close to us and very interested in what we were doing," Long said.

"The calf had a lot of skin abrasions where the net had rubbed it raw -- I don't think these are life-threatening -- but it identified it had been in the net for some time."

Shark nets have been used for decades in Australian to protect beach-users from dangerous predators, however, every year several whales also become trapped as they migrate along the eastern coastline.

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