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updated: 1/10/2013 9:41 AM

Locals say shifting sea ice frees trapped whales

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  • A killer whale surfaces through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec Tuesday. 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. Now a village leader says the whales appear to have reached safety after the floating ice shifted on Hudson Bay.

      A killer whale surfaces through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec Tuesday. 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. Now a village leader says the whales appear to have reached safety after the floating ice shifted on Hudson Bay.
    Associated Press

  • Killer whales surface through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec Tuesday. 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. Now a village leader says the whales appear to have reached safety after the floating ice shifted on Hudson Bay.

      Killer whales surface through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec Tuesday. 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. Now a village leader says the whales appear to have reached safety after the floating ice shifted on Hudson Bay.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

MONTREAL -- A Canadian village leader says about a dozen killer whales that were trapped under sea ice appear to have reached safety after the floating ice shifted on Hudson Bay.

Tommy Palliser said Thursday that two hunters from Inukjuak village reported the water had opened up around the area where the cornered whales had been bobbing frantically for air.

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Locals said the mammals had been trapped around a single, truck-sized breathing hole for at least two days.

Palliser says villagers had been planning to launch a rescue operation Thursday.

But he says the winds seemed to shift overnight, pushing the floating ice further away from shore to open up the water.

Mayor Peter Inukpuk had urged the Canadian government to send an icebreaker.

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