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11 Killer Whales Swim To Freedom After Being Trapped By Ice

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1. On Wednesday morning, 11 killer whales were discovered trapped in ice, off the coast of the small Inuit village of Inukjuak.

Marina Lacasse / AP

2. A local hunter discovered the orcas, two of which were adults, with nine younger whales.

Maggie Okituk / Reuters

3. The 11 whales were confined in a space of about 30 feet by 30 feet, which they used as an opening for a breathing hole.

Maggie Okituk / Reuters

4. The whales began to panic, trying to find open water, but were unable to, being surrounded completely by ice.

The Canadian Press, Marina Lacasse / AP

5. Typically an icebreaker ship would be brought in to free the whales, but the closest crew was 36-hours away.

Maggie Okituk / Reuters

6. Villagers of Inukjuak held a public meeting and decided to cut a half mile of holes for the whales to travel through, on the way to open water.

Maggie Okituk / Reuters

7. Villagers were prepared to use chainsaws to break holes and propellers to warm the ice, but a shift in current broke the ice naturally, allowing the orcas to escape.

Marina Lacasse / AP

8. Bye whale family!

Marina Lacasse / AP

(Sources: CNN, NBC News)

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