Eleven Killer Whales Die in Hokkaido Ice Floes

Eleven killer whales were found dead on Tuesday after a pod became trapped between ice floes near the shoreline in Rausu, Hokkaido.

Local divers tried to free one killer whale that survived, but had failed to do so as of Tuesday morning due to its enormous weight, which is estimated to be four to seven tons.

The surviving killer whale apparently managed to leave the area in the afternoon, local people said.

Experts have said that it was unusual for killer whales to be trapped between ice floes due to their speed

“Apparently they became trapped because patterns in the ice floes changed beyond their expectations or that they were not accustomed to the area,” said Hidehiro Kato, a researcher at the National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries

Source: Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, story and image