More than 100 Beluga whales are trapped between ice floes in the Chukotka region of Russia, with government officials seeking an icebreaker, as the whales are at risk of death from exhaustion, lack of food, and predators.
The Belugas are trapped in the Sinyavinsky Strait near the village of Yanrakynnot, just off the Bering Sea. They were discovered by fishermen who said the whales were concentrated in two small ice holes where, for now, they are able to breathe freely. The government of the
Chukotka Autonomous Region
is seeking federal assistance in the form of an icebreaker to help with a rescue of the whales, CNN
reports. Ice floes are increasing which may lead to rapid exhaustion and death by suffocation or starvation. The trapped whales are also at risk from predators such as polar bears and killer whales.