Dolphins stuck in ice
Most of a pod of white-beaked dolphins have already succumbed after becoming trapped by ice off the southwest coast. The pod of about 30 to 40 dophins became encircled by ice near Cape Ray on the weekend and were driven close to the shoreline. The animals' plight has caught the attention of local residents, but officials say there's little that can be done because of the dangerous weather and ice conditions.

As of this morning just three animals were left alive, and they were in bad shape. Wayne Ledwell of the Whale Release and Strandings Group says human safety is paramount when considering whether or not to save the animals. He says conditions in the area are so bad, people would be risking their lives to try to intervene.

Ledwell says white-beaked dolphins are one of a couple of species that stay in Newfoundland waters year-round, and ice strandings are not uncommon. He says in many cases the animals usually die, but he can remember saving some animals in an area where it was safe to do so, and transporting them to open water via snowmobile.

Local resident Bert Osmond first noticed the stranded mammals yesterday, he says as very little open water remains near the shore there is little chance they will survive.

The water in the area is very shallow, less than a metre, so it's impossible to get an icebreaker in the bay. Osmond says it was heartbreaking to hear the noises the dolphins were making.

DFO says back in 1987, six blue whales were driven ashore by ice in the same area near Cape Ray. They call the unique geography and currents in the area a natural 'whale trap' during heavy ice conditions.