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a pod of eleven killer whales - a family of two adults and nine juveniles - was discovered trapped in the ice of the hudson bay off the coast of the small inuit village of inukjuak. confined for two days in the small breathing hole, the whales began to panic as they tried unsuccessfully to find another breathing hole and their way to sea.

while an icebreaker ship would typically be brought in to free the orcas, the closest crew was thirty six hours away, so the villagers decided to cut a half mile of holes for the killer whales to travel through on their way to open water. the village mayor noted that it was unusual to see orcas in the area in january, but that the waters were late to freeze this year.

photos by maggie okituk and marina lacasse

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