Locals say shifting sea ice frees trapped whales - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Locals say shifting sea ice frees trapped whales

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The above photos taken Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 and provided by Marina Lacasse show killer whales surfacing through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marina Lacasse) The above photos taken Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 and provided by Marina Lacasse show killer whales surfacing through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak, in Northern Quebec. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Marina Lacasse)

MONTREAL (AP) — A Canadian village leader says about a dozen killer whales that were trapped under sea ice appear to have reached safety after the floating ice shifted on Hudson Bay.

Tommy Palliser said Thursday that two hunters from Inukjuak village reported the water had opened up around the area where the cornered whales had been bobbing frantically for air.

Locals said the mammals had been trapped around a single, truck-sized breathing hole for at least two days.

Palliser says villagers had been planning to launch a rescue operation Thursday.

But he says the winds seemed to shift overnight, pushing the floating ice further away from shore to open up the water.

Mayor Peter Inukpuk had urged the Canadian government to send an icebreaker.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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