Killer whales escape ice-locked area
January 10, 2013
After a possible change in current, 11 killer whales are now free after being forced to use just a small opening of open water to surface, according to NBC News. The change in current made it possible for the whales to find a path to sea, and making it easier for them to surface after being "locked in" by ice.
On Wednesday morning, a hunter found the killer whales, two of which were adults and the rest were smaller in size. There was only a small area for the whales and only a couple could surface at time. When two scouts went to check this morning to see how the whales were doing, the place where they were trapped was empty.
"They are free. They are no longer here. When there is a new moon, the water current is activated. It could have helped … completely trap them, but in this case it caused an open passage out to the open water," Petah Inukpuk, mayor of Inukjuak, a small village of 1,800 in Quebec, told the news source. "It was mother nature that helped them. ... They are no longer ice-locked."
Local fisheries departments were going to step in to help break the ice for the whales so they had more open ocean. The villagers in the small town held a meeting to devise a place, and they were considering a similar rescue to the one in 1988 when two California gray whales were stuck in Alaska. Two icebreakers in 1988 crushed through a thick wall of ice to help the animals escape, the media outlet reports.
"We were prepared to endure it, make their breathing hole bigger and create another breathing hole nearby. Enlarge it, going step by step," Inukpuk told the news outlet. "We were prepared to do that method because the closest icebreaker was ten days away … without assistance they would not have made it."
According to CBC News, it was going to take some time before the icebreakers made it to the small village, as they were currently working in other parts of the country in which boats continued to get stuck. However, now they do not have use them.