But fortunately they escaped.

For a while, a group of killer whales was stuck between ice sheets near the Japanese island of Hokkaido, but fortunately the huge marine mammals were freed in a short time.

A local fisherman first noticed the killer whales trapped among the ice floes on Tuesday, about a kilometer from the coast, and alerted authorities in the nearby town of Rauszow. The animal protection organization took a photo of the animals with a drone, and based on this, a total of 13 killer whales were counted, including several calves.

The city's rescue services were unable to free the killer whales, because it was impossible to approach the stricken dolphins by boat due to the ice. Therefore, animal rights activists asked the Ministry of Defense to send an icebreaker to rescue the dolphins.

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However, by Wednesday morning, the killer whales were already gone, and authorities say they were able to free themselves as a larger gap opened between the ice sheets.

In Japan, the rescue of animals was welcomed with great relief, because in a similar case in 2005, about ten killer whales died in Rauszow.