HONOLULU (KHON2) — A team of ocean wildlife officials removed about 2,000 feet of heavy gauge line from an adult humpback whale who was last tracked to be around Kauai on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

A Kauai resident first spotted the entangled whale with gear trailing from it while he was flying his drone off Poipu on Sunday, Jan. 16. He then reported it to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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According to officials, the whale appeared to be “emaciated” and had patches of rust-colored whale lice, indicating it was in distress.

While officials from NOAA and the Department of Land and Natural Resources were able to remove most of the gear, the rest would have to be taken off another time due to how complicated the entanglement was. A tracking buoy was placed on the whale to find it later.

Officials urge that people who see an entangled whale should report it as soon as possible by calling the NOAA Marine Wildlife Hotline at 1-888-256-9840.

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