Drone captures efforts to free whale caught in shark net in Australia

Heartbreaking scenes of a juvenile whale trapped in shark nets off Australia’s Gold Coast for two days and two nights has reignited debate about the country’s shark control program. The humpback whale, which has been freed after a marathon rescue mission, still faces a fight for survival because rescuers have not been able to remove all portions of shark control equipment from its tail.

The young whale became entangled in about 150 kg of net, floatation buoys, chains, and anchors near the Gold Coast in Queensland on Tuesday night. It was migrating north from Antarctica to warmer waters to give birth at the time.

Local surfers alerted the authorities on early Wednesday after they noticed the distressed mammal letting out cries and thrashing its tail on the surface of the sea in a desperate attempt to free itself.

For the next two days, a team of 18 rescuers worked against the clock and managed to free the whale from most of the shark control gear. But…