The whale, named Scarlet (or CRC-11227), had become entangled in bait traps and fishing line off Dana Point, Calif sometime in August. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials were working to locate and rescue Scarlet for up to a month without success.
However, on Sept. 21, Dana Point Whale Watching Captain Frank Brennan captured drone footage of a whale, believed to be Scarlet, swimming free and clear of any ropes according to the Orange County Register. She was even seen swimming with a pod of dolphins.
“That is a pretty good sign. It’s amazing it might be free,” Dave Anderson of Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari told the Register. “Nobody had to risk their life to free it.”
NOAA officials are continuing to monitor the whale.
Whale entanglements is a reoccurring problem for the West Coast, with about 10 whales on average becoming entangled from 2000 to 2012, according to the Register. Entanglements are on the rise in recent years, with 2015 having 61 whale entanglements, the highest since the NOAA has been documenting entanglements since 1982.
2016 looks to be another record-breaking year with over 40 entanglements have been reported off the coast of California, alone.