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Montreal - Killer Whales Trapped In Quebec Sea Ice (photos-video)

Published on: January 9, 2013 08:47 PM
By: AP
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In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, killer whales surface through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marina Lacasse) In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, killer whales surface through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marina Lacasse)

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.

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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 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 Tuesday at the hole, which is on the eastern shore of the Hudson Bay. Inukjuak is about 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) 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.

In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, a killer whale surfaces through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen trapped orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (Credit: AP)In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, a killer whale surfaces through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen trapped orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (Credit: AP)
In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, killer whales surface through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen trapped orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (Credit: AP)In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, killer whales surface through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen trapped orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (Credit: AP)
In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, people watch as a killer whale surfaces through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (Credit: AP)In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, people watch as a killer whale surfaces through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (Credit: AP)
In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, killer whales surface through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (Credit: AP)In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, killer whales surface through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (Credit: AP)

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Read Comments (15)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 09, 2013 at 09:25 PM SandraM Says:

Heartbreaking footage. Those whales are struggling to live. Whatever happened to global warming?

2

 Jan 09, 2013 at 09:40 PM Rachel W. Says:

Curiosity killed the bear :(

3

 Jan 09, 2013 at 10:07 PM Babishka Says:

Reply to #1  
SandraM Says:

Heartbreaking footage. Those whales are struggling to live. Whatever happened to global warming?

It's winter.

4

 Jan 09, 2013 at 11:29 PM FrumJew Says:

Global warming.

This, plus the snow in Yerushalayim, is enough to prove that G.W. is a myth, or perhaps a religion. Al Gore is the high priest, and only recycling can bring you to heaven. (The worst sin is coal.)

5

 Jan 09, 2013 at 11:42 PM metsfan123 Says:

The correct term is climate change . Al Gore is unto something. We are seeing unprecedented climate change

6

 Jan 09, 2013 at 11:56 PM nat101 Says:

Why does this AP article label them 'killer'? Is it up to the journalist what emotions to invoke based on a whim? (Unfortunately this is how the media subtly injects its views to the masses. HOW an article is written [between the lines] is as important as WHAT is being written.)
Anyhow, these poor creatures are fighting for life, sharing a hole for oxygen. Interestingly, notice the second last photo, the whale with its back to the people is looking upward and is praying to Hashem (with spread out 'hands' in prayer) as if it knows that these people can't help and only Hashem will save them!

7

 Jan 10, 2013 at 02:52 AM LiberalismIsADisease Says:

Someone should remind these killer whales (sorry 6, thats what Orcas are called) that they know how to swim long distances under water without coming up for air.

8

 Jan 10, 2013 at 07:59 AM cool masmid Says:

If they are killer whales then how comes those people standing around don't seem to be that concerned for their safety. Unless killer whales don't kill humans. If someone could shed some light.

9

 Jan 10, 2013 at 08:10 AM Reb Yid Says:

Couldn't they have brought some picks with them and enlarged the hole themselves? Also, why is it that there's no problem killing the bear, but everyone needs to mobilize to save the whales?

10

 Jan 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM Realistic Says:

Reply to #4  
FrumJew Says:

Global warming.

This, plus the snow in Yerushalayim, is enough to prove that G.W. is a myth, or perhaps a religion. Al Gore is the high priest, and only recycling can bring you to heaven. (The worst sin is coal.)

So by you the world ends in Jerusalem.

Don't you see what's going on in NY, we didn't have a snow so far, and even last year we only had a small storm?

11

 Jan 10, 2013 at 11:17 AM Liepa Says:

The person in the last picture is standing awfully close, he can almost get picked off by one of these giants or can slip off or something. I can't reconcile his thinking.

12

 Jan 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM enlightened-yid Says:

Reply to #1  
SandraM Says:

Heartbreaking footage. Those whales are struggling to live. Whatever happened to global warming?

Read the article don't just look at pictures. It says that sudden drop in temperatures confused the whales where they were later boxed in by ice. Global warming doesn't mean Bahamas weather everywhere around the globe. This is the problem with most people that comprehend earth science on 6th grade level and beyond that it gets too complicated to grasp.

13

 Jan 10, 2013 at 01:48 PM nat101 Says:

They are free! The 'wind changed' overnight.
Hashem listened to our prayers!

Do people usually pray for whales? No. But this was spontaneous and I guess many people asked Hashem to save them. And save them he did.
Without any human intervention.

It is a lesson for all of us. Never give up! Pray!

14

 Jan 10, 2013 at 02:16 PM Melech Says:

There was a similar story, which occurred in the Fall of 1989. At that time, there were two whales trapped by the ice, in a remote area of coastal Alaska. Then, a joint operation by a Russian ice-breaker, and an American ice-breaker came together to save one of the whales. I remember seeing a tape of an Eskimo welcoming the Russians to Alaska. The Russians stated that it was glasnost, which made the operation possible.

15

 Jan 10, 2013 at 04:32 PM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #4  
FrumJew Says:

Global warming.

This, plus the snow in Yerushalayim, is enough to prove that G.W. is a myth, or perhaps a religion. Al Gore is the high priest, and only recycling can bring you to heaven. (The worst sin is coal.)

Best comment of the day. Wow. America's idiot class never ceases to amaze me with their ignorance.

There is NOBODY on the planet who argues that GW isn't happening. At least, nobody with any level of intelligence. See, we have thermometers and we know that the planet has gotten warmer. Now, there are SCIENTISTS who are currently arguing over the CAUSE of GW (man made, nature, combination of both, etc.). Global warming is the warming of the PHYSICAL PLANET (typically determined by measuring ocean temperatures), NOT the weather outside. LOL

You clearly think GW means that that weather is getting warmer and that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

I'm laughing so hard at your ignorance I'm having trouble typing.

16

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