UPDATE: Pod of Orcas free after being trapped by ice in Quebec

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jan 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-10 12:13:32-05

QUEBEC—The pod of 11 killer whales trapped by thick layers of sea ice since Monday managed to escape said said the mayor of a nearby village.

That mayor said that their escape was quite possibly due to a change in current that helped create a path to the sea. He essentially said that a new moon was on their side and it activated the water current.

The Montreal Gazette reported earlier in the week that the killer whales took turns breathing through a small breach in the ice.

To free the whales would have been a daunting and expensive task that involved breaking 15 miles of ice to allow them access to the sea. An ice breaker ship is needed, but could cost the Canadian federal government millions said one source, those it is astounding that the job could really cost that much.

The Inuit hunters in the area reportedly have a mixed reaction to the orca’s plight. After all, these whales eat the seals that the Intuits hunt to thrive.

A marine ecologist explained that the ice probably began to close behind the whales as they moved inward towards shore.

It had seemed as though there is little hope for the whales. Government funding cuts are making it harder to find the money for a rescue. 

Read more, and see video here.