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Whales trapped in ice in Bering Sea

Dec. 14, 2011 at 11:44 AM

CHUKOTKA, Russia, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Nearly 100 white whales have become trapped in ice-covered waters near Russia's Chukotka Peninsula, the country's most northeastern point, officials said.

Local fishermen and hunters working in the Bering Sea reported a group of the whales trapped in the Sinyavinsky channel on Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.

"The hunters said that the animals swam into two little ice-holes where they can easily breathe," Valery Vasilyev, first deputy of the Industrial politics department of the Chukotka region, said.

However, the white whales cannot escape the trap and are at risk because there is no food in the area and the ice is freezing over quickly, he said.

Chukotka authorities said they had asked the Russian Emergencies Ministry for help.

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