A dozen killer whales that were trapped under the ice near a northern Canadian village are now free. The ice cold waters on Hudson Bay froze around the whales, making their fate seem dim. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, locals were planning to use chainsaws and drills to cut through the ice and free the whales. Fears that the tools available were not strong enough to free the whales before it too late, plagued would-be rescuers.
Inukjuak Mayor Peter Inukpuk stated that the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans felt the government icebreakers were too far away from the killer whales to smash the ice and free the massive mammals.
A shift in the ice around the killer whales in Canada appears to have allowed the trapped mammals an escape hatch, according to ABC News. Two hunters from the Inukjuak village stated that the waters of the Hudson Bay have opened around the section where the whales were frantically surfacing for air.
Regional government business adviser Tommy Palliser had this to say about the apparently freed killer whales:
“They confirmed that the whales were no longer there and there was a lot of open water. It’s certainly good news. That’s good news for the whales.”
The killer whales had reportedly been trapped for a minimum of two days. A CNN report notes the breathing space utilized by the orcas was approximately 30-feet by 3-feet in size. A sudden and drastic drop in temperature is presumed to have caught the whales by surprise. A wind shift last night is credited with pushing the ice further from the shore and aiding the whales trapped under the ice.
The time spent trapped in the ice reportedly took a toll on the whales. Their energy level appeared to decrease on Wednesday.