Is it kinder to harpoon whales trapped in Canadian Arctic?
IN Canada’s Arctic, a pod of killer whales are trapped under a vast stretch of ice. The Times writes:
Local people are calling for help for the increasingly distressed orcas, which have gathered around a single hole in the ice, slightly bigger than a car, in a desperate attempt to get oxygen in the frigid waters near the Inuit community of Inukjuak, Quebec…
“They are trapped,” the community’s mayor, Peter Inukpuk, told CBC radio. “It appears from time to time that they panic. Other times they are gone for a long time, probably looking for another open space, which they are not able to find at the moment.”
Mr Inukpuk has urged the Canadian Government to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the mammals find some open water.
Why not just harpoon the striken whales?
One local, Siasie Kasudluak, said that even a curious polar bear had approached the hole amid the commotion. It was later shot by a local hunter, however, for its meat.
Andrew Trites, a marine mammal expert, adds:
“The second biggest problem that comes is if the ice gets thicker, the hole will get smaller and smaller, so that at some point the weakest mammals will no longer be able to get to the hole to breathe.”