In a heartbreaking move, the Canadian government decided it would rather allow 500 narwhals to be shot one by one at an air hole in the ice, rather than bring in icebreakers to help free the whales. We wish it were a sick joke, but the world is actually this twisted.
Despite the fact that Canada has access to powerful icebreakers, they decided that rather than spend the money and effort to try and save over 500 trapped narwhals, they'd instead let Inuit hunters shoot the whales one by one as they tried to breathe at the only open air spaces in the ice.
Apparently they thought that the noise from the icebreakers would be too stressful for the animals.
"Local hunters shot the narwhals as they surfaced to breathe in the only leads of open water," said Rebecca Aldworth, director of Humane Society International/Canada. "The DFO has tried to defend its unconscionable choice not to break the ice and free the whales, claiming that the noise of the icebreaker would have been 'stressful' for the narwhals. Clearly, the deafening blasts of the rifles, and the volumes of blood filling the water in the only breathing holes available is far more stressful."
Humm....potential stress or absolute death (plus the stress from swimming among dead members of your pod just before you're shot). Which would you choose?
Narwhal tusks sell for a big pile of cash, so it is obvious that this was a way to use the "trapped without escape" excuse to kill four times the legal limit on endangered animals. Now that is definitely not an effort to save a red-listed species.