Race against time for trapped killer whales

Comment on this story


iol scitech jna 10 killer whales

AP

Whale Spotter, the app developed by Conserve.IO, will be used to map the feeding grounds of the enormous creatures, which large ships too frequently strike as they migrate along the California coast.

Montreal - A community in Quebec's Far North is calling for outside help to free about a dozen killer whales trapped under a vast stretch of sea ice.

Locals in Inukjuak said the mammals have gathered around a single hole in the ice - slightly bigger than a pickup truck - in a desperate bid to get oxygen.

Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government on Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help them find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation.

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada is assessing the situation and are exploring every possible option, but will only be in a position to determine what - if anything - can be done once our specialists arrive on site,” spokesman Frank Stanek said in a statement.

A hunter first spotted the pod of about a dozen trapped whales on Tuesday at the hole, which is on the eastern shore of the Hudson Bay. Inukjuak is about 1,500 kilometres north of Montreal.

Dozens of villagers made the one-hour snowmobile ride Tuesday to see the unusual spectacle. They snapped photos and shot video footage of the killer whales surfacing in the opening - and even thrusting themselves skyward while gasping for air.

One woman who made the journey to the gap in the ice said even a curious polar bear approached the hole amid the commotion. Siasie Kasudluak said the bear was shot by a local hunter for its meat.

The trapped orcas appeared to be in distress, but locals were ill-equipped to help out.

Kasudluak said the hole appeared to be shrinking in the freezing temperatures. Inukpuk believes the sudden drop in temperature recently caught the orcas off guard, leaving them boxed in under the ice. - Sapa-AP

Hungry for more scitech news? Sign up for our daily newsletter


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks