Killer Whales Trapped Under Ice: A Race Against Time

Quebec village incites international concern about the fate of killer whales trapped under the arctic ice.
1:42 | 01/10/13

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Transcript for Killer Whales Trapped Under Ice: A Race Against Time
We're going to turn to that race against time to save a family of orcas trapped under arctic ice. This video shows the whales desperately trying to get the air they need to survive. Rob nelson has more on the international fight to free these giants. Reporter: In this amateur video, you can see the killer whales fighting to break through a thick blanket of arctic ice. As people from a nearby town watch helplessly. At least 12 of the giant animals, believed to be an entire family, swam into the waters north of quebec, during recent warm weather. But with temperatures now dropping, the animals are trapped below a hole no bigger than a truck, struggling for air. And the coast guard says that hole is rapidly closing around them. I don't know how far it is to the next air hole. But I imagine, they don't, either. That's why they're coming up and looking with that spy-hopping behavior they're showing. Reporter: On wednesday, the canadian government turned down a request to bring in ice breakers, saying they were simply too far away. But this morning, after this video was posted online, there is growing international chorus to free those whales. Among those trying to help, is greg ferian. We've been through it before. Reporter: Last year's movie "big miracle," starring drew barrymore, was inspiredy the wisconsin man, and others who used equipment to rescue three whales trapped in alaska in 1988. In the movie, the whales survived. But today,cientists say without help from the international community, this family of whales will not be as lucky. For "good morning america," rob nelson, abc news, new york. Let's hope for a big miracle.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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