Officials need help finding an entangled, emaciated whale shark spotted off Maui

MOLOKINI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A whale shark entangled in a heavy gauge line has been spotted for the second time this week off Maui shores.

The juvenile shark was photographed Thursday on the backside of Molokini, off Maui's south shore. The mammal had a heavy gauge line wrapped around it's mid-section, which experts believe to be life threatening.

"The wrap is cutting into the animal, which is somewhat emaciated," the Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a news release.

The DLNR says initial reports of the entangled whale shark were received on Sunday off the west side of Maui. Whale sharks are listed as endangered worldwide with an estimated decline of more than 50% since 1975.

Officials say they may be able to help the animal if it is spotted.

If you spot the animal, you are asked to report it to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at 888-256-9840.

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