Tweets about sex aren’t unusual on a social media platform known for its unusual conversations. But it’s not every day that you see an official Twitter account for a federal government tweet about animals doing ‘it.’
But that’s what happened on Valentine’s Day this year when Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) shared a video of narwhals mating.
“Love is in the air in the… ocean! Can you guess what these narwhals are up to? If we told you, you might blush… Happy
#ValentinesDay! ,” the DFO account wrote on Feb. 14.
Internal emails obtained by Global News under the federal government’s Access to Information and Privacy Act show that the tweet, which was shared by media personalities and reporters across Canada, was created at the last-minute by federal social media officers after their previous plan was scrapped.
The controversy the staff appear to be referencing was the result of a decision by Federal Court earlier in February.
The court ruled that a DFO policy of not screening B.C. farmed salmon for a lethal virus that has the potential to infect wild chinook salmon was unlawful.
As a result, DFO decided to stay away from the touchy subject of sockeye salmon. Instead, they decided to use a video they already had laying around, which at least one staffer referred to as the “sexy narwhal video.”
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The language and use of the video were quickly approved and despite staff previously deciding to not use the video of the narwhals — the emails obtained by Global News don’t detail why — this year’s tweet was signed off on by Edith Lachapelle, chief of staff for communications at the DFO.
The tweet was well received by people on the internet. One person even cracked a joke directly with the department by responding to their tweet.
“I would imagine what these narwhals are up to in this video you’ve tweeted out here is engaging in a whale orgy,” one Twitter user said.
“We’re not sure if there’s a scientific term for it, but you get the idea ,” DFO tweeted back.