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
Let’s work together to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself! Please contact the Japan Ministry of Defense on social media and urge it to undertake all possible measures to free the orcas, including sending in an icebreaker boat immediately if needed. Time is of the essence, as the animals are at high risk of being frozen over.
Japan Ministry of Defense Facebook Page
Japan Ministry of Defense Instagram Page