Orcas gasp for air whilst trapped in drift ice off the coast of Japan

Connie Queline

Orcas gasp for air whilst trapped in drift ice off the coast of Japan

A pod of killer whales appear to have become stuck in drift ice off the coast of Japan.

Drone footage shows a group of at least 10 orcas about half a mile (0.8km) from the shores of Rausu, in Hokkaido.

The animals look closely packed together and appear to be sticking their heads out of the water to breathe.

The coast guard is unable to launch a rescue operation as the ice is too thick, a local official told public broadcaster NHK.

Nine orcas died in 2005 after becoming stuck in drift ice in the same area, according to local media.

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