Trapped Orcas Freed From Canadian Sea Ice
Conditions for up to 17 orcas who had become trapped in ice near Inukjuak appear to have improved overnight after a change in wind direction opened up the sea ice that had been closing in around them. The orcas have been able to move and local people are now trying to see whether they might be able to reach open water. The orcas will have to navigate 1,000-kilometre maze of deadly ice floes to reach open sea.
With little food, the whales would have faced exhaustion, and ultimately, death by starvation or suffocation when trapped like this.
There is gathering evidence that these events are increasing as climate change makes the development of sea ice increasingly irregular and the whales are caught out by sudden fast icing- up of channels and breathing holes in the ice.