Rescuers over the weekend spent seven hours trying to carefully free a gray whale that became entangled in a discarded fishing net off the coast of California.

"It was getting very frightening towards the end of the day because we were running out of time," Dave Anderson, who works with and helped rescue the whale, said.

The whale was probably dragging the nearly 50 feet of fishing wire for nearly a week, according to the rescue crew. The net was filled with dead sea animals.

"We had a sea lion, we had several sharks, it was the whole ecosystem, you know, was in that netting," Anderson said.

Anderson said about a thousand dolphins and whales die in fishing nets each year.

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