Target: Keith Ashfield, Minister of of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada
Goal: Secure help for twelve orcas trapped under ice in the Hudson Bay near Inukjuak, Quebec.
In recent days, about twelve orcas have remained trapped under the ice near Inukjuak, Quebec. Despite local requests for help, however, the Canadian government has been slow to respond to the orcas’ dire situation. Urge the Canadian government to act quickly and save the trapped whales because time is running out.
Since whales are mammals and not fish, they need to return to the surface regularly to replenish their air supply. A sudden rash of cold temperatures has caused the ice on Hudson Bay to freeze up unusually quickly, and many locals surmise that the whales were caught off-guard by the sudden freeze. As a result, about a dozen of the creatures are trapped, relying on a lone hole in the ice to replenish their oxygen. Freezing temperatures are making the hole ever-smaller. Increasingly distressed whales are pushing themselves through the hole in the ice — only “slightly bigger than a pickup truck,” one source reports — as they struggle to breathe, risking injury to themselves.
Orcas are considered by many to be an endangered species, although their status is officially classed as “data deficient” due to confusion over whether or not the animals we know as orcas are actually two separate species. Given their threatened status, it behooves the Canadian government to do everything it can to protect these beautiful animals.
In the past, whales have been saved from similar situations. In 1988, three California gray whales were saved through the cooperation of “the unlikeliest of allies: anti-whaling campaigners at Greenpeace, Eskimo whalers, oil companies, the U.S. military, the White House, the Soviet Union and even a New Age ‘interspecies communicator’ with a guitar.” If such disparate groups could come together to save three whales, surely the Canadian government can save the twelve imprisoned whales near Inukjuak.
As the hole in the ice gets smaller and the whales’ oxygen supplies dwindle, the time to act is now. Sign the petition urging Minister Keith Ashfield to save the orcas in Hudson Bay.
Dear Minister Ashfield,
The recent imprisonment of about twelve orcas under the ice of the Hudson Bay near Inukjuak, Quebec is an event that has already begun to capture media attention. Despite requests for help from locals, however, the Canadian government has been slow to respond to the whales’ plight. I urge you to aid these helpless animals and do all in your power to get them to open water — and safety.
Seen by many as an endangered species, orcas are a source of fascination to many people all over the world. Furthermore, the situation faced by the orcas in Hudson Bay has already been shown to invite public sympathy; in 1988, three California gray whales captured the world’s attention as rescuers attempted to free them from the ice near Alaska. So aside from the issue of the whales’ safety and well-being, there is the issue of bad press: if Canada fails to do anything to help the twelve stranded whales near Inukjuak, it is inviting the world’s indignation.
Please stand up for creatures that are already threatened. Please do all in your power to free the orcas in Hudson Bay and get them safely to the open ocean.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gary M. Stolz, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Public Domain Images