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'We've created medical refugees.' LGBTQ+ healthcare workers fight for gender-affirming care amid rise in anti-trans laws

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'We've created medical refugees.' LGBTQ+ healthcare workers fight for gender-affirming care amid rise in anti-trans laws

Nico Olalia had just finished her initial nurse training in the Philippines when she realized her aspirations were growing bigger than her home archipelago.

“There are a lot of trans Filipinos, but they’re always known in the beauty industry, and they’re very seldom found in the professional side,” Olalia said.

So she moved back to the United States, where she was born, for better career prospects. Today, she is a clinical nurse at Cedars-Sinai, one of the largest hospitals in Southern California, where she assists new hires and cares for patients in the neurology division.

Olalia feels like it’s a dream come true; her peers and patients respect her and welcome her contributions. It’s a hope shared by a small but growing number of trans and nonbinary healthcare workers in the U.S.

Yearly surveys of first-year medical students by the Assn. of American Medical Colleges show that the percentage identifying as transgender and gender nonconforming doubled from 0.7% in 2020 to 1.4% in 2023.

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These numbers align with the growing LGBTQ+ population in the United States. Today, younger generations are more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ than generations before. A national survey this year found that 28% of Gen Z respondents identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.

But that rise in LGBTQ+-identified youths and trans healthcare workers has coincided with escalating restrictions on gender-affirming care.

Between 2022 and 2023, anti-trans legislation proposed across statehouses tripled, with a majority of the bills proposing restrictions on gender-affirming care. According to the Movement Advancement Project, at least half of the states exclude transgender-related healthcare for youths from their Medicaid programs, while only 22 explicitly cover it.

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, center, is shown at a transgender health event in Miami with Tatiana Williams, left, of Transinclusive Group and Arianna Inurritegui-Lint of Arianna’s Center.

(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

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“We’ve created medical refugees who have to leave their state to get that care,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, the first transgender person confirmed by the Senate to a high government post.

“Transgender medicine can be suicide prevention care. It’s been shown in many studies that it improves the quality of life and can save lives for youth and adults,” said Levine, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent care.

When Levine was doing her medical residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City during the 1980s AIDS crisis, she saw friends and co-workers succumb to the epidemic — an experience that rings eerily familiar to the discrimination she sees transgender people facing today, she said.

One study from 2023 showed that 70% of transgender and gender nonconforming patients faced at least one negative interaction with a healthcare provider, ranging from an “unsolicited harmful opinion about gender identity to physical attacks and abuse.” It was only in 2019 that the World Health Organization removed gender dysphoria from its list of mental health illnesses.

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Alex Keuroghlian, a clinical psychologist at Harvard Medical School, directs training programs through the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center that educate healthcare providers across the country on gender-affirming care. They’ve noticed a double standard when it comes to the doubts that people raise against transgender healthcare.

“Given how well resourced anti-trans political groups are, it can really distort the public discourse and make it harder to advance evidence-based, clinically sound practices,” Keuroghlian said of the rampant misinformation they’ve seen online.

A person holds a sign that says "Protect trans students."

Mack Allen, an 18-year-old transgender high school student from Leavenworth, Kan., stands with other young advocates of LGBTQ+ rights after a rally at the state capitol in Topeka, Kan.

(John Hanna / Associated Press)

An uptick in the number of transgender-identifying youths seeking gender-affirming care sparked a theory that “social contagion” was influencing teens to experience “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” Some practitioners oppose this framing, and research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics has disproved it. Both the American Psychiatric Assn. and the American Pediatric Assn. support gender-affirming care for adolescents.

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The news on the legal front hasn’t been all bad for trans healthcare providers; last month, a federal court judge struck down Florida’s law restricting gender-affirming care for minors and adults. However, the practice of categorizing gender in a binary medical system continues.

That’s problematic, said Mauricio Dankers, the intensive care unit director at HCA Florida Aventura Hospital, because the medical erasure of trans people can prevent a proper diagnoses. When doctors have to make split-second decisions in the ICU, he said, failing to recognize a transgender person could prevent them from receiving lifesaving care.

“If I don’t know that a transgender woman may have gone through laryngoplasty to change the tone of her voice, I’m going to go and put the breathing tube [and] I may run into trouble,” Dankers offered as an example. Chest binding used by some transgender people to appear more masculine can also lead to pneumonia if done improperly, he said.

A person inserts a needle in a vial.

Violet Rin, a transgender woman in Florida, gives herself estrogen injections once a week.

(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

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Dankers, a gay immigrant who left Peru for the more tolerant New York City, worries that the politicization of transgender healthcare will put a target on LGBTQ+ healthcare providers.

These restrictions “are going to change how the LGBTQ+ trainee thinks about their career,” Dankers said. He said they might think, “I’m not going to a place where they don’t want me by law.”

After Texas banned gender-affirming care for teens, a pediatric endocrinologist closed her practice and moved out of the state because she feared violence from armed protesters. And this year, a Texas man was sentenced to three months in prison for threatening a Boston physician serving transgender patients.

Fear and violence have had a ripple effect even on states that have enshrined transgender healthcare into law.

Baltimore Safe Haven, a nonprofit that provides transitional housing service focused especially on Black trans women, received an increase of 7,000 calls last year after Gov. Wes Moore signed an executive order protecting gender-affirming medical care in Maryland, according to the Baltimore Sun. Most of the callers lived out of state.

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A person stands under two colorful flags. Other people stand near them.

Demonstrators gather on the steps to the state capitol to speak against transgender-related bills being considered in the Texas Legislature.

(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

“I can’t even see my own doctor,” said Jules Gill-Peterson, a transgender woman and associate professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who studies the history of transgender medicine. Anecdotally, she’s heard of doctors’ caseloads tripling with the slew of requests they receive from new transgender patients.

“It’s only going to put greater pressure on [the] system as people migrate from states where it’s illegal to transition medically to states where it’s not,” Gill-Peterson said.

LGBTQ+ healthcare workers are on the defensive, said Kate Steinle, a queer nurse and chief clinical officer at Folx, a nationwide healthcare provider that serves transgender and queer patients.

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“Our general counsel wakes up in the morning and is looking at every single possible legislation that could affect our care,” Steinle said. Folx lobbies the government to ensure that its patients have access to gender-affirming care, but Steinle said fighting anti-trans legislation can sometimes feel like “a game of whack-a-mole” — as one goes down, another takes its place.

Anti-trans legislation is largely symbolic because most of these bills fail, said D Dangaran, a lawyer and director of gender justice at Rights Behind Bars. According to the Trans Legislation Tracker, of the 617 bills introduced, 44 have passed, 348 failed and the rest are pending.

But the fate of transgender healthcare could shift dramatically depending on the outcome of the presidential election in November.

“A Trump presidency will signal to the states another possibility to move forward on all fronts with anti-trans legislation,” Dangaran said. Former President Trump has promised to end gender-affirming care for minors if he wins, and Dangaran anticipates that he would sign “executive orders that are antithetical to protecting trans rights.”

A person wears a colorful flag in an ornate room.

Glenda Starke wears a transgender flag as a counterprotest during a rally in favor of a bill to ban gender-affirming care at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo.

(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

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Keuroghlian worries that many career government employees in the Department of Health and Human Services could be ousted by political appointees as part of Trump’s ambition to reshape the federal workforce. “There is a lot of important healthcare and research funded by the federal government,” he said.

All of this could reverse the progress that the Biden administration has done to advance gender-affirming care across the country.

“There hasn’t been any president that has more explicitly supported access to gender-affirming care,” said Elana Redfield, the federal policy director at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the Biden administration’s challenge to Tennessee’s ban on gender-affirming care for teens. The administration argues that the ban violates the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause. A ruling is expected next year that could cement or further erode transgender rights.

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Redfield warns that “people who are multiply marginalized are also most affected by these laws,” particularly people of color who live in the Deep South. Beyond the legal restrictions to care, they face problems affording the cost of procedures such as gender-affirming surgery and traveling to where care is available, she said.

Nor can lower-income transgender people afford Folx, a private subscription service that charges $39.99 a month on top of any out-of-pocket costs and co-pays levied by an insurer.

“Trans people have a lot to tell us about just how bad U.S. healthcare can get,” Gill-Peterson said. “Trans healthcare is not really that different than the rest of healthcare.”

A person holds up a sign that says "Trans rights are human rights."

People attend a rally as part of a Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, 2023, by the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

(Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

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Increasing the representation of transgender people in a healthcare system where “profit is placed over people” won’t solve those fundamental inequities, she said. Even if doctors support their transgender patients, Gill-Peterson said, they are still bound by law to follow state regulations and insurers’ dictates.

On the other hand, studies have linked positive health outcomes in LGBTQ+ patients and patients of color to having a healthcare provider who shares their background. That’s one reason University of Michigan medical student Gaines Blasdel, a trans man, wants to become a urologist who can provide gender-affirming surgery to transgender patients such as himself.

Blasdel said gender-affirming care can be an abstract social justice issue to his cisgender classmates, but it isn’t to him. “I’ve been embedded [in medicine] and I’m going to be, no matter how hard it is.”

Jona Tanguay, a physician assistant and medical lead in the medical substance use disorder programs at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C., said it’s important not to discredit the incremental but meaningful progress in the representation and quality of care offered to transgender people.

“Progress isn’t always linear,” they said. Tanguay, who is nonbinary, is also the president of GLMA, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Medical Assn. They already see the curriculum expanding and the number of out transgender healthcare providers growing steadily. “Every generation after is going to be more self-aware than they used to be about health disparities.”

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A person sits in a garden.

Nico Olalia, a transgender woman, moved back to the United States from the Philippines for better career opportunities as a nurse.

(Jireh Deng / Los Angeles Times)

Olalia said her story demonstrates that trans people can practice medicine just as well as their cisgender colleagues. Because she’s also enrolled full time in a nursing doctoral program, her days start at 4:30 a.m., when she wakes up to prepare for her 10- to 12-hour shifts. Her efforts at Cedars-Sinai earned her a prestigious $10,000 no-strings-attached grant from the Simms/Mann Institute & Foundation.

“I do hope that I can have more power to inspire transgender women,” Olalia said. “I want those who are walking behind me to … have that opportunity to go beyond what they’re told to do or what society deems them to be.”

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The spinning of Earth's inner core is slowing down. Is this how it all ends?

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The spinning of Earth's inner core is slowing down. Is this how it all ends?

Geophysicist John Vidale noticed something striking while tracking the way seismic waves move from Earth’s crust through its core.

The very center of the planet, a solid ball of iron and nickel floating in a sea of molten rock, appears to be slowing down in relation to the movement of Earth itself. The inner core has slowed so much that it has essentially kicked into reverse.

The fluctuations happening 3,000 miles underground won’t affect life on the planet’s surface in any noticeable way — at least not for now, USC geophysicist John Vidale said.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

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The finding by Vidale and his counterpart Wei Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, published recently in the journal Nature, offers the most convincing evidence yet that the core seems to operate with a mind of its own.

“It might be cycling back and forth but it might also be on a random walk,” Vidale said. “It went one way for a while, then it’s going back the other way. Who knows what it’s going to do next?”

The fluctuations happening 3,000 miles beneath us won’t affect life on the planet’s surface in any noticeable way — at least not for now, Vidale said.

“There’s essentially no effect on people, from what we’ve seen,” said Vidale, who is Dean’s Professor of Earth Sciences at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “It’s a part of basically understanding the evolution of the planet. What we’d also like to know in more detail is what are the forces that are moving the inner core.”

Scientists first had a hunch that the inner core was moving in the 1990s, he said. It has taken years to back up that theory with hard evidence, mainly because of the difficulty of studying a mass located so far out of reach — and suspended inside a hellish sea of liquid iron that’s between 8,000 and 10,000 degrees.

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Instead, Vidale, who was director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at USC from 2017 to 2018, peered into the planet by tracking seismic waves from quakes occurring off the lower tip of South America. As the waves passed through the heart of the planet, they were recorded on 400 seismometers positioned at the other end of the globe in Alaska and Northern Canada. The sensors were the same kind used to measure ground vibrations during nuclear tests.

Graphic shows Earth's inner core and mantle, separated by a liquid outer core

He compared those refined readings to quake signals recorded in past years to see where they matched. That’s how he determined that the rotation has been decreasing since 2010. Prior to that, the core’s spin had been accelerating.

The findings add to the mystique of the most inscrutable part of our world, Vidale said. Literature and lore involving Earth’s core have filled the knowledge void with all sorts of fanciful ideas.

“I’m not such a philosopher but we’ve all had nightmares of what’s going on down in the planet,” Vidale said. “Just a couple hundred years ago, people thought the planet was hollow and that there were people living down there. It’s pretty exotic — exotic like Jupiter, but it’s just right under our feet.”

In Jules Verne’s 1864 science-fiction classic “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” a German professor, his nephew and their guide descend into the planet through a volcano in Iceland — along the way encountering caverns, a subterranean ocean, living dinosaurs, strange sea creatures and even a prehistoric giant herding mastodons — and are finally spat out through a volcano off the coast of Sicily.

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The 2003 disaster film “The Core” imagines that the rotation of Earth’s center has stalled, damaging the magnetic field that envelops the planet — and triggering a violent lightning storm that destroys Rome and “invisible microwaves” that melt the Golden Gate Bridge. A hotshot crew of scientists burrows down through Earth’s layers to jump-start the core with a nuclear bomb.

In the real world, no human could survive the unimaginable heat and bone-crushing pressure, even if there were a vehicle capable of tunneling to the core, Vidale said.

It is true that the outer core generates electrical currents that sustain the planet’s magnetic field, but Vidale says shifts in the Texas-size inner core are too minuscule to have an impact.

While the planet’s subterranean reality is less fantastical than novels and Hollywood movies make it out to be, it is still fascinating to those like Vidale whose job is to counter conjecture with facts.

What is increasingly clear is that the inner core is susceptible in different ways to activity in the layers of Earth that encircle it.

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“The mechanics are that the outer core is circulating and making a magnetic field, and so it’s kind of pulling the inner core back and forth,” Vidale said.

John Vidale

The latest discoveries about the inner core have fueled vigorous disagreements among the world’s top Earth scientists, USC’s John Vidale says. Some don’t believe the core turns at all.

(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

Another player in the endless tug-of-war taking place inside the planet is the lower level of the planet’s mantle, whose mix of hard and less-dense matter results in its own peculiar magnetic pull, Vidale said.

“We sort of think the outer core is stirring up the inner core, but the mantle’s trying to keep it aligned — maybe that’s why it’s oscillating,” he said.

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The latest discoveries about the inner core have fueled vigorous disagreements among the world’s top Earth scientists and given rise to competing theories of varying credibility, Vidale says. Some don’t believe the core turns at all. Some insist that forces on the surface, such as quakes, briefly alter the rotation.

Over the phone, Vidale reads a review from a scientist in Australia who greeted Vidale’s recent findings with much skepticism. The Australian proclaims that the analysis will lead to “the erosion of seismology as a credible branch of science and the destruction of seismologists as credible researchers.”

“I think he’s just frustrated — he knows he’s lost,” Vidale said, gently ribbing his peer.

“It’s exciting because the core is pretty big, it’s moving by measurable amounts and it’s a mystery,” Vidale said. “We’re making progress and seeing more things, arguing with people around the world and trying to get more data … What our paper’s done is it’s convinced most of the community.”

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Should doctor-patient confidentiality still apply when the patient is the president?

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Should doctor-patient confidentiality still apply when the patient is the president?

In a typical presidential election year, voters might wonder how the candidates’ views stack up on issues such as abortion, tax cuts, gun rights and immigration policy.

But this year, as a 78-year-old Republican Party nominee campaigned to replace an 81-year-old Democratic incumbent, a different question rose to the forefront of many voters’ minds: What’s in their medical files?

That issue eclipsed all others after President Biden’s blundering performance in last month’s debate against Donald Trump, triggering widespread concern about Biden’s physical and cognitive health. It became even more salient after Trump sustained a gunshot wound to his ear and Biden came down with COVID-19.

Members of the Secret Service tend to former President Trump’s bloody ear after he was shot at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on July 13.

(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

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When Biden withdrew from the presidential race Sunday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) kept the health question alive by calling on the commander in chief to resign.

“If Joe Biden is not fit to run for President, he is not fit to serve as President,” Johnson wrote on the social media platform X.

Biden’s doctors have denied speculation that the president is being treated for Parkinson’s disease or another neurological disorder. Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign has released limited information about the former president’s condition after he was grazed by a rifle round.

Is the public entitled to know more than either man has willingly disclosed?

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“In the ideal world, it would be great if there were full transparency,” said Dr. Robert Klitzman, a psychiatrist and bioethicist at Columbia University. But no patient — not even a president — should be forced to share medical information they’d rather keep between themselves and their doctor, he and other experts said.

The reason is simple: A successful relationship between a doctor and patient relies on trust, and that includes trusting a doctor to not share information that might be considered embarrassing, unflattering or stigmatizing.

“To be able to help a patient as much as possible, we need the whole story,” Klitzman said. “We need to know if the patient is depressed, if the patient can’t pee, if the patient’s in pain, if the patient is forgetting things. We need that information to make an accurate diagnosis and figure out the best treatment to help.”

Without the assurance of confidentiality, a president might well decide he’s better off steering clear of doctors altogether, said George Annas, a professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at Boston University.

“You want him to have access to whatever treatment there is, and he ain’t going to get it if he’s not going to get tested,” Annas said. “That’s why we keep this stuff confidential, and why it makes perfect sense to do it even though everything in you screams, ‘I want to know what’s the matter with him.’”

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The principle of doctor-patient confidentiality goes back to ancient Greece and is enshrined in the Hippocratic oath: “Whatever I see or hear in the lives of my patients, whether in connection with my professional practice or not, which ought not to be spoken of outside, I will keep secret, as considering all such things to be private.”

About 2,400 years later, the notion that a patient’s medical information should remain private was codified into federal law as part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, better known as HIPAA.

There are limited circumstances where doctors have a duty to disclose a certain amount of information about their patients.

For example, if a patient presents a danger to himself or others, a doctor has a duty to warn law enforcement or potential victims of the threat, said Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and educator in Harvard Medical School’s program on psychiatry and the law.

If a patient has a reportable sexually transmitted infection such as syphilis or HIV, that diagnosis must be shared with a public health department, along with the names of the patient’s past partners so they can be informed and get tested, Klitzman said.

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And if doctors notice a spike in cancer cases among people clustered in a geographic area, that too is passed along for public health officials to investigate.

Beyond cases such as these, the consensus fades, Annas said.

Congress could try to carve out an exception to HIPAA and require presidents and presidential candidates to release their medical records to the public. But in the unlikely event that the law were to change, it’s unclear whether it would survive a challenge in court, said Bert A. Rockman, a professor emeritus of political science at Purdue University who specializes in the American presidency.

“It raises a lot of questions to which we don’t know the answers,” he said.

Besides, forcing sitting and would-be presidents to waive their right to doctor-patient confidentiality wouldn’t guarantee that voters learn the truth, Rockman said. A president could simply shop around for a doctor willing to obfuscate in a medical report, for instance.

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“There are always going to be ways to get a work-around,” he said.

Even if a president is forthcoming, knowing their diagnosis wouldn’t necessarily tell you much about their ability to function. A White House occupant could have a mild case of Parkinson’s but be able to carry out the job just fine with proper treatment, Klitzman said.

Voters should also keep in mind that there’s a difference between the president and the presidency, Rockman said.

“The presidency can work even if the president is diminished,” he said. “In all likelihood, unless the president is completely out to lunch for some reason or another, either physically or mentally, the office itself functions.”

Indeed, U.S. history is rife with examples of presidents concealing serious medical problems from the public.

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John F. Kennedy was taking narcotic painkillers, amphetamines and steroids to treat his Addison’s disease and other ailments while trying to avert a nuclear crisis with the Soviet Union in the early 1960s.

Grover Cleveland said he was going on a four-day fishing trip when he boarded a yacht in 1893 to have a malignant tumor — along with part of his jaw and five teeth — surgically removed from the roof of his mouth.

Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke in 1919 that left him partially paralyzed, bedridden and unable to feed himself for the remainder of his presidency. When pressed for details about Wilson’s condition, his doctor said “the President’s mind is not only clear but very active.”

It’s not OK to lie to preserve a patient’s privacy, Klitzman said, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a doctor must reveal “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

“You can say, ‘The President’s not feeling well today,’ or you can say, ‘The President has COVID,’” he said. “You want people to trust the government, and if people feel the government is lying all the time and we can’t trust anything they say, that’s not good.”

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Entangled humpback whale is finally freed off Dana Point

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Entangled humpback whale is finally freed off Dana Point

The young whale was seen off Southern California, struggling, its tail flukes dangerously entangled in rope. The animal may have been injured for as long as half a year.

After a week of tracking and near-misses, a crew from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration freed the juvenile humpback whale Friday.

On July 13, a whale-watching boat encountered the rope-snarled animal and reported it to NOAA. For the next week, crews from its large whale entanglement response network made near-daily excursions to find the injured whale, said Justin Viezbicke, the agency’s California marine mammal response stranding coordinator.

On July 15, the team spotted the whale off Dana Point, but the weather turned bad before they could attempt to free it. The next day they found the animal in the same area, but nearby jet skiers accidentally scared it away before rescuers could get close enough to help.

It was seen near Newport Beach on Wednesday and Thursday, then returned to Dana Point on Friday. The rescue attempt was on.

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The young whale’s tail flukes were snarled in what looked like rope.

(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

For several hours, the NOAA boat traveled alongside the animal as it surfaced for air and dove back into the sea. The mammal was about 30 feet long, with rope from fishing equipment wrapped tightly around both tail flukes.

“Being in the right place at the right time was very difficult,” Viezbicke said. “This whale was super skittish and wasn’t comfortable with us being around it.”

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At last the crew got close enough to cut through the rope. For the next 60 to 90 minutes, the whale swam, dove and slapped its tail against the water in an effort to dislodge the remaining equipment, Viezbicke said. Once it had, it slipped back into the water and swam off. Whale-watching boats in Orange County have spotted it swimming in the days since.

Though the rope is gone, there is still concern for the animal’s future. NOAA estimated that the mammal had been entangled in the fishing line for at least three to six months, causing “some serious damage” to the flukes, Viezbicke said. It also appeared to have a significant amount of whale lice, which is often an indicator of poor health.

“We are hopeful that with the gear off it will make a full recovery,” he said.

Instances of humpback whale entanglements with fishing gear have climbed sharply in the last decade, thanks to a chain of events sparked by warming seas.

From 2014 to 2016, a Pacific Ocean heat wave forced anchovies and other humpback prey closer to shore and into the path of Dungeness crab fishing equipment. The same heat wave also delayed the crab fishing season to a time that coincided with the whales’ migration season.

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Statewide, NOAA typically receives 15 to 20 reports per year of whales trapped in fishing lines or other human-made debris in the ocean, Viezbicke said. Yet such reports are likely only a small percentage of total cases.

“Unfortunately, most whale entanglements go undetected,” said Ashley Blacow-Draeger, Pacific policy and communications manager for Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Oceana. Researchers who have tracked observation of entanglement scars on whales estimate that only 5% to 10% of such incidents are recorded.

Oceana has been working with fisheries to test ropeless fishing gear that vastly reduces the risk of wildlife entanglement, Blacow-Draeger said. California issued experimental permits for the pop-up, ropeless equipment in 2023, and permitted fishermen started selling crabs caught with the new gear that season.

Oceana is pressing for the state to authorize widespread commercial use of the whale-safe equipment by spring 2025, Blacow-Draeger said.

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