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Trapped orcas manage to escape from drift ice off Japan, officials say

via ABC
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A pod of killer whales, initially trapped in drift ice off Japan’s Hokkaido, has reportedly escaped safely, according to officials.

The whales were spotted by a fisherman and later observed by town officials.

Drone footage confirmed the presence of 13 killer whales in a small gap within the ice.

Concern over the whales’ well-being prompted calls for government assistance, but the pod was seen moving north and eventually escaping the ice.

Despite the location being near disputed Japanese-Russian waters, the focus remains on the well-being of the whales.

Japanese officials stated that killer whales are not classified as endangered in Japan and are monitoring the situation while communicating with Russia.

Rausu official Masataka Shirayanagi said, “We believe they were able to escape safely.”

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