Group of orcas trapped by ice floes off Hokkaido

A pod of about 10 orcas has been found trapped by ice floes off Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido.

Japan Coast Guard officials say they were notified by local fishers on Tuesday morning that the orcas were trapped off Rausu Town in eastern Hokkaido.

Video taken by a local resident shows the animals struggling between ice floes about a kilometer offshore.

Another video taken by a marine wildlife surveyor shows about 10 orcas immobilized in waters packed with ice floes.

Local weather officials say the floes may have been made bigger by the waves adding water to them that then froze.
Rausu Town officials say orcas were previously trapped in a similar way in 2005. Most of those reportedly died.

Rescuers cannot go near the orcas for now because of the ice floes. Town officials say they can only hope that the animals can free themselves.