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Four Killer Whales Were Rescued After Getting Trapped By Sea Ice

Rescuers in Russia had to scramble to break up shallow sea ice so the orcas could breathe and reach deeper water.

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Four killer whales had to be rescued after getting trapped in shallow sea ice off the coast of eastern Russia.

Footage of the dramatic rescue last week that was posted to YouTube on Monday shows crews from the Russian Emergencies Ministry working to break up and move chunks of ice to free up space for the orcas.

One of the killer whales had been severely weakened and was at risk of drowning because it was stuck with its breathing hole under water.

It later "came alive" after rescuers moved the whale into deeper water and carefully turned it right side up, the Russian ministry said in a statement.

After several hours of moving ice floes to create more open water, three of the smaller killer whales were able to make it out.

Crews then worked through the night to move more ice and keep the water open for the larger orca.

The larger 23-foot-long orca was eventually able to make it out to open water, the ministry said, making for a successful rescue operation.

Watch the rescuers at work here:

View this video on YouTube

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