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Whale entanglement experts free humpback in Iliuliuk Bay

The whale reported to be entangled Monday evening in IlIuliuk Bay.
Sofia Stuart-Rasi
The entangled whale was first reported on Monday evening in Iliuliuk Bay.

A humpback whale is now free in Unalaska after being tied up for at least four days. The entangled whale was first reported on Monday evening in Iliuliuk Bay.

Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game were able to free the whale Friday morning. The team included Ed Lyman, a large whale entanglement response coordinator from Hawaii, and Sadie Wright, a biologist from Juneau. They both flew into Dutch Harbor Thursday morning and worked on detangling the whale until late Thursday afternoon. They resumed work the following morning at sunrise and freed the whale around 10 a.m. The whale swam out of the Bay and into the Bering Sea.

Julie Fair, a spokesperson for NOAA, said additional information about the rescue will be provided later.

During the entanglement process, U.S. Coast Guard personnel were present on a nearby boat, and officials used a drone during the operation.

Sofia was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She’s reported around the U.S. for local public radio stations, NPR and National Native News. Sofia has a Master of Arts in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism from the University of Montana, a graduate certificate in Documentary Studies from the Salt Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder. In between her studies, Sofia was a ski bum in Telluride, Colorado for a few years.
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