Update (February 7, 2024): Thank you to everyone who contacted officials in Japan regarding the group of orcas who were trapped in thick sea ice. News sources now report that some of the ice melted or shifted enough that the orcas were able to escape!
These magnificent animals are now free to live as nature intended, but other animals around the world are still in dire need. Please see PETA’s urgent alerts to find out how you can speak up for them.
Early on the morning of February 6 in Japan, a fisher contacted the Rausu Coast Guard Station to report seeing a pod of orcas stuck in an ice drift not far from shore. Heartbreaking drone footage shows the animals struggling to free themselves, to no avail. The initial witness reportedly told a local news station that they “seemed to be struggling to breathe.” Among the estimated 13 orcas observed, three or four are reportedly calves. In 2005, a pod of orcas became trapped in drift ice in the same area—and tragically, most died after no intervention was made.
A pod of more than 10 orcas appears to be trapped in sea ice less than a mile off the coast of Hokkaidō island in Japan. pic.twitter.com/xIoDHV1CtO
— NowThis Impact (@nowthisimpact) February 6, 2024