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All four killer whales rescued after being ‘locked’ in ice

April 20, 6:02 UTC+3 YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK
The local teams rescued three sea mammals, but the biggest killer whale (around 7 meters) remained near the coastline
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© Press-service of the Far East Region Emergencies Ministry department/TASS

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, April 20. /TASS/. A unique operation to rescue four killer whales trapped in ice off the Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East has successfully ended, the local emergencies ministry said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the local teams rescued three sea mammals, but the biggest killer whale (around 7 meters) remained near the coastline. The volunteers and rescuers cleared the ice overnight and helped the fourth orca to swim into the open sea.

"The rescuers and volunteers who stayed near the animal at night covered it with tarpaulin to reduce heat loss and pushed away the ice floes that could hurt it," the press service said.

"At around 6 a.m. local time the rescue operation successfully ended. Willy (the fourth killer whale) reached the open sea," the ministry said.

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