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Whale trapped in ice off Newfoundland

Tragic end as whale trapped in icy bay succumbs to death

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Monday, April 3, 2017, 12:52 PM - Sea ice trapped a humpback whale near Old Perlican, on Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula Saturday, with the conditions leaving little hope that the animal can escape. On Monday it was confirmed that the whale died due to the circumstances.

The whale was about seven metres offshore, according to eyewitnesses, and it was herded into its predicament by the large chunks of sea ice that have been blown toward the shore by strong winds.

"When you're down there and you're looking at him and you can see the blood on the ice where he's, I guess, he's moving trying to get out. And you can hear him crying. Very, very sad," Mary Lou Riggs told CBC News Saturday.

Riggs says she tried to contact government agencies and other groups, hoping for a way to extricate the whale, but experts say its prospects aren't good.

Wayne Ledwell of Whale Release and Strandings told VOCM that it's rare for a whale that large to be trapped in this manner, and rarer still for such whales to escape, unless conditions change.

"The wind has to change and blow the ice off the land and hopefully if the tide rises it could go on with that but I don’t know how long the animal can last in the situation it’s in," he told the station. "The animal could die here, unfortunately that’s probably what could happen to it."


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