The Uruguayan large-circulation daily El País has reported the sighting of orcas off the coast of Punta del Este.
International pressure is growing for the Russian government to release nearly 100 juvenile whales which have been kept in small pens in the far east for seven months. French marine scientist Jean-Michel Cousteau and other experts are meeting government officials in Moscow. They plan to visit the so-called whale jail near Nakhodka on Saturday.
Dozens of orcas and beluga whales captured for sale to ocean aquariums have brought Russia's murky trade into the spotlight, but efforts to free them are blocked by government infighting.