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'Locked in': Killer whales trapped in ice

Marina Lacasse / The Canadian Press via AP

People watch as a killer whale surfaces through a small hole in the ice near Inukjuak in Northern Quebec on Jan. 8, 2013.

Maggie Okituk / Reuters

Two killer whales surface through a breathing hole in the ice of Hudson Bay on Jan. 9, 2013. The whales are part of a pod that is trapped in the sea ice.

Marina Lacasse / AP

Killer whales surface through a small hole in the ice on Jan. 8, 2013. Mayor Peter Inukpuk urged the Canadian government Wednesday to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to crack open the ice and help the pod of about a dozen trapped orcas find open water. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it is sending officials to assess the situation.

By Miranda Leitsinger, NBC News — Eleven killer whales are “locked in” by ice in a Canadian bay, with only a small area of open water for them to surface, the mayor of a nearby village said as he appealed for help to save the marine mammals.

A hunter found the killer whales, also known as orcas, on Wednesday morning in Hudson Bay, in northeastern Canada. Two of the orcas appear to be adults; the remaining nine are smaller in size, said Petah Inukpuk, mayor of Inukjuak, an Inuit village home to 1,800, in Quebec. Other reports said there were 12 orcas in the pod. Read the full story.

UPDATED: The whales are now apparently free, according to the mayor of a nearby village.