Dolphin pod dies trapped in ice off Canadian coast

Mar 17, 2014
Some 30 white-beaked dolphins have died after being trapped in ice off the coast of Canada's easternmost Newfoundland province, and three remaining alive are not faring well, officials said

Some 30 white-beaked dolphins have died after being trapped in ice off the coast of Canada's easternmost Newfoundland province, and three remaining alive are not faring well, officials said Monday.

Canadian fisheries officials twice visited the area around Cape Ray, Newfoundland where the animals were reported to have been trapped on Sunday and again Monday morning.

"All but three animals have died," ministry spokesman Larry Vaters told AFP.

"The remaining dolphins appear to be in extremely poor condition and current weather conditions of and whiteouts in the area are not helping matters," he said.

The dolphins would have struggled for air as the floes crushed in around them, becoming exhausted and eventually drowning.

It is not uncommon to see dolphins, as well as porpoises and swimming in the ice off Newfoundland waters during the spring thaw, officials noted.

The area's "unique geography and currents" tend to form so-called "whale traps" whenever the ice is heavy, Vaters noted. Six were driven ashore by ice and died here in 1987.

It is "very unfortunate" when marine animals become trapped in ice, Vaters said. But authorities, except in rare cases, will not intervene to rescue wild animals in distress.

Explore further: Eight pilot whales found dead off Florida coast

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Over 100 Beluga whales 'trapped in Bering Sea'

Dec 14, 2011

Over 100 Beluga whales are trapped in water between ice floes in the Chukotka region of Russia's Far East, the authorities said, calling on the government to send an ice-breaker to free them.

Recommended for you

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

9 hours ago

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

Asian stars enlisted to fight African rhino poaching

19 hours ago

Increasingly desperate South African conversationists are turning to a multi-national team of "rhino ambassadors" to try to end the scourge of poaching—and Vietnamese pop diva Hong Nhung has been recruited ...

Tropical fish a threat to Mediterranean Sea ecosystems

Sep 18, 2014

The tropical rabbitfish which have devastated algal forests in the eastern Mediterranean Sea pose a major threat to the entire Mediterranean basin if their distribution continues to expand as the climate ...

User comments : 0