Whales trapped in ice – 14 May 2021
© FSBI National Park Beringia
Whales trapped in ice – 14 May 2021
Fifty beluga whales are stuck in Penkigngei Bay. Presumably, they have been in ice captivity since January, but specialists saw them only in April. The animals are fed and constantly monitored.

Hopefully, the Beluga whales, stuck in ice captivity in Chukotka can soon escape as thermometers began to rise and the ice begins to melt. However, when the fast ice will completely melt is still impossible to say - perhaps in 10 days - or perhaps this may happen at the end of May, the press service of the Beringia National Park reports .

According to a zoologist specializing in marine mammals, Grigory Tsidulko, beluga whales are active swimmers, thanks to which the polynya remained open and continues to expand.

They have already eaten most of the fish they could catch in the 4 months in the trap.


Tsidulko believes that there is a chance of survival, since Arctic animals are adapted to periods without food. Currently, they live on fat reserves stored in summer and fall, and scientists feed them as well. Although the fish stocks of the Senyavinsky Strait are sufficient for the survival of belugas in summer, they have already eaten most of the fish they could catch in the 4 months in the trap.

In 1984, a large-scale tragedy occurred - several thousand beluga whales were stuck in ice captivity. Throughout the winter and spring, local residents used chainsaws to prevent the hole from closing. An icebreaker was even called to help the animals, but most of the belugas did not follow him and died.

Chukotka, Russia, is located in the extreme northeastern portion of Siberia.

Russia map showing location of Chukotka

Russia map showing location of Chukotka
Thanks to Alexey Parkhomenko in Russia for this link.