Dolphin pod dies trapped in ice off Canadian coast

March 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: Over 100 Beluga whales 'trapped in Bering Sea'

Related Stories

Over 100 Beluga whales 'trapped in Bering Sea'

December 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.

Locals say shifting sea ice frees trapped whales (Update 2)

January 10, 2013

About a dozen killer whales trapped under sea ice appeared to be free after the ice shifted, village officials in Canada's remote north said Thursday, while residents who feared they would get stuck elsewhere hired a plane ...

Recommended for you

Study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos

November 21, 2017

Malaria parasites, although widespread among wild chimpanzees and gorillas, have not been detected in bonobos, a chimp cousin. Reasoning that previous studies may have missed infected bonobo populations, a team led by Beatrice ...

The strange case of the scuba-diving fly

November 20, 2017

More than a century ago, American writer Mark Twain observed a curious phenomenon at Mono Lake, just to the east of Yosemite National Park: enormous numbers of small flies would crawl underwater to forage and lay eggs, but ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.