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Locals say shifting sea ice frees trapped whales

  • In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by Marina Lacasse, a killer whale surfaces through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. 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. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marina Lacasse) MANDATORY CREDIT

MONTREAL — About a dozen killer whales that were trapped under sea ice appeared to be free after the ice shifted, a leader of a northern Canada village said Thursday.

The animals' predicament in the frigid waters of Hudson Bay made international headlines, and locals had been planning a rescue operation with chainsaws and drills.

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

"They confirmed that the whales were no longer there and there was a lot of open water," said Palliser, a business adviser with the regional government.

"It's certainly good news — that's good news for the whales," he said.


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