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Whale stuck in Cook’s Cove succumbs to unfortunate circumstances

The whale was stuck in Cook's Cove from Friday, March 31st, to Monday, April 3rd.
The whale was stuck in Cook's Cove from Friday, March 31st, to Monday, April 3rd.

OLD PERLICAN, N.L. — A humpback whale trapped by ice near Old Perlican died Monday morning.

The whale had been stuck in Cook’s Cove, near Old Perlican, and was unable to get past the ice pans. It had been in the shallow water since Friday, March 31st.

Wayne Ledwell of the Whale Release and Strandings Group confirmed to The Compass that the whale died sometime between late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

The whale succumbed to the pressure of the flowing ice, as well as its own weight against the rocks.

Ledwell says that unfortunately, there was little that could be done for the animal, as the water was too shallow for an icebreaker. Even if an icebreaker could make its way through, it would only push the ice on top of the whale, simply making the situation even more difficult for it.

“A lot of people thought maybe an icebreaker would be able to clear the way for (the whale), but unfortunately that’s not the case,” said Ledwell. “The water was just too shallow. There was nothing any human could have done for the animal, besides hope for the best.”

The whale was estimated to be about 12 or 13-metres long, and spent the entirety of last weekend stuck in Cook’s Cove.
Ledwell added that the best hope the whale had for escape was if winds began gusting in a southern direction, pushing the pans off and away from the animal.


'Leave whale trapped at Cook's Cove alone, experts urge'

“It’s hard to put your faith in something like wind, but that was really the only thing that would have helped. It was a dangerous situation, and an unfortunate one.”

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