[caption id="attachment_81714" align="aligncenter" width="511"] Some 30 white-beaked dolphins have died after being trapped in ice off the coast of Canada's easternmost Newfoundland province, and three remaining alive are not faring well, officials said (AFP/File, Jay Directo)
[/caption]Approximately 30 dolphins perished after they were stuck in ice off the Newfoundland coast. The Department of Fisheries and Ocean said that the remains of the dolphins will likely wash ashore after the ice begins to break away. A discovery of the mammals was made the previous evening in the area of Cape Ray. At that time, there were only three still living.
The white-beaked dolphins often weigh nearly 700 pounds and are usually the first among dolphins, whales and porpoises to appear in the area when spring comes. This fact makes them more vulnerable because the ice has not always melted. This is not the first time that this type of dolphin has died as a result of getting trapped in the ice there. A report of a smaller group of dolphins was reported earlier in the year.
Approximately 400 dolphins, whales and porpoises have been reported trapped in the area since sometime in the 1970s. It was unclear whether any effort was made to save the mammals from their trapped position. Six blue whales were driven to the shore in 1987 by ice. They are considered the largest animal on the earth.
The Fishery and Oceans Department said that local governments will be responsible for clearing up the animals carcasses once they wash ashore. The ocean current will likely drive them in when the weather gets warmer and the ice begins to thaw. No timespan was given for how long that might take. The exact number of dolphins that died is uncertain.