Rescuers free whale of rope and buoys off Maui

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This undated file photo shows a humpback whale jumps out of the waters off Hawaii. (AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries, file)

This undated file photo shows a humpback whale jumps out of the waters off Hawaii. (AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries, file)

L.A.'s Morning News: Phil Hulett and Penny Griego
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HONOLULU (AP) – A team led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration successfully freed an entangled humpback whale off Maui over the weekend.

The Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary said Monday a line of undetermined origin was caught in the whale’s mouth. The rope trailed about 120 feet behind the animal to a pair of buoys.

The sanctuary says the whale was in good condition, but the entanglement would have interfered with its ability to feed and would have threatened its life.

A Pacific Whale Foundation vessel first spotted the entangled whale Sunday morning. The response team freed the animal by midday.

The whale was last seen heading north after rescuers removed the gear.

The sanctuary says the whale isn’t among multiple entangled animals reported last week.

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