Shifting ice off has trapped and killed nine blue whales off Newfoundland’s southwest coast, according to Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
The whales, which are the world’s largest animals stretching up to 30 metres and weigh more than 150 tonnes, are endangered and only number about 250 in the region. It appears the animals moved into open water to feed, but got stuck with no way out when the ice began to shift leaving them unable to reach the surface to breathe. Perishing in a natural event such as this is shocking to researchers.
“It’s horrible and it’s so disappointing for us, because the department is working hard to develop a recovery plan for the species,” DFO researcher Jack Lawson told CBC.
h/t CBC Photo/video Department of Fisheries and Oceans