Christmas Whales

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Thirty-five years ago, a small group of whales were trapped in ice in Springdale harbour. They became known as the Christmas whales, and saving them became a community project.

The famous Christmas Whales of Springdale is a wonderful story of the community coming together to help a group of whales trapped in the ice of the harbour.  They created breathing holes for the whales to breath, but it soon became apparent is was going to be a huge undertaking to free them completely from the thick pack ice.

Ventienaies, animal behaviourist, National Geographic, and more from the media went out to record this event.  This is an amazing story from CBC’s Land & Sea (which is a Newfoundland staple).

From this encounter, scientists learned more about echolocation and whale communication, which was just a theory before then.  Whale greeting and Whale behaviour were studied by hundreds of people in the area and the understanding of Whales blew up thanks to the people of Springdale.

The Narwhal, which was a part of the whales stuck in the ice was a gem, up until now a Narwhal has never survived captivity.  Many different organizations wanted to use the situation to further the understanding of the animal.  The community banned together to protest to capture of the Narwhal, and then it continued its freedom.

April of 1978 they all made they way out to open sea. Three Humpbacks and one Narwhal swam back to the wide ocean.

Today it’s a Christmas tradition for the town of rally together, the annual Night on the Point is a celebration of the community and its history on this day.

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