NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Bid to save whale off Shetland 'could take weeks'

Animal welfare experts have said it could take weeks to free a humpback whale which has been caught up in creel ropes off Shetland.

The 25ft-long creature was spotted tangled in ropes attached to buoys off the shore near Vidlin, on the east of the islands.

Bad weather has forced Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish SPCA to postpone a rescue operation.

The rescuers are now waiting for calm seas.

They would then attempt to bring a boat alongside the whale and cut the ropes.

The rescuers have been in touch with experts in the United States who said the whale could survive for two or three weeks.

In 2000, a 7ft leatherback turtle was rescued after it became entangled in creel ropes off Shetland.

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