Editor's note: This video no longer exists, as the person who uploaded it removed it from YouTube.
When three gray whales became stranded in the ice off the far northern coast of Alaska in the winter of 1988, it captured the imagination of the U.S. Now, echoes of that may be felt in Canada's Hudson Bay, where a pod of killer whales now also appears to be similarly stuck, circling around a small hole in the ice, emerging for air but remaining close to the small breathing space.
That's according to Twitter user Stephane Lacasse (Twitter handle: @SlashLaCash), who on Tuesday afternoon posted the following tweet with a photo :
Killer whales stuck near Inukjuak. twitter.com/SlashLaCash/st
Stephane Lacasse (@SlashLaCash) January 8, 2013
Lacasse, a resident of Inukjuak, Quebec, said that the whales are stuck in the ice about an hour from that community, in the east side of Hudson Bay, and have been since Monday. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the Hudson Bay region is more or less frozen solid at this time of year.
According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, killer whales are native to that region of Hudson Bay, though Alaskan populations of orcas tend to move south with the sea ice as winter sets in.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that a polar bear wandering near the killer whales' breathing hold was killed, and that the whales are too far from open water to swim out on their own. That means a rescue by icebreaker -- like that 1988 incident near Barrow, Alaska -- may be in order.