Baby whale in Australia rescued from shark nets

Posted on 21 May 2020 By Anita Froneman

A diver minding his own business off Burleigh Headland on the Gold Coast in Australia turned out to be a hero. On Tuesday, 19 May a drone operator saw a baby humpback whale tangled in shark nets.

The operator contacted authorities, but no assistance was provided, according to The South African. Luckily a man simply known as ‘Django’, a local diver, was nearby on his boat and came to the whale’s rescue, cutting the nets with a knife.

‘He just had his pectoral fin sort of wrapped up and he was about eight to nine metres deep’ he told ABC Gold Coast. The whale swam off unhurt.

The story did not end there, authorities were looking to issue him a hefty fine as approaching a whale in the wild is against local laws. Entering the ‘exclusion zone’ around shark nets is also not permitted.

Australians lauding Django for his efforts have come together to support him, however, and launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money he would need to pay the fine. Donations from over 500 donors poured in, totaling over AUS14,000, (about R258,000) to assist Django.

Fisheries Queensland decided to let Django off with two Fisheries Infringement Notices for entering the exclusion zone around shark control program equipment off Burleigh Heads, saying that in situations like these, the public should rather ‘allow professionals to do their job.’

The money raised in the campaign for Django will now be donated to a non-profit marine research foundation.

Take a look at the heroic rescue operation:

Image credit: Screenshot/ABC Gold Coast


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