Wildlife agency investigate the mysterious case of dead walruses

Over 30 walruses have been found dead on a beach near Point Lay on Alaska’s Arctic coast, leading researchers and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to search for the cause of the mass death. Foul play is not suspected.

Walruses gather at Point Lay, Alaska.

Walruses gather at Point Lay, Alaska. Image by Adam Rifkin / CC BY 2.0

The area’s walruses can be seen this time of year feeding with calves off the coast of Point Lay in Northwest Alaska. They typically feed on clams and other food on the seafloor and use arctic ice to rest. But since 2007 a lack of summer sea ice has caused the walruses to return the 100 miles to shore. These mass haulouts can be dangerous for the animals’ young, who can be crushed to death if the herd stampedes. Last week, experts estimate that up to 10,000 walruses were on the haulout at Point Lay. Read more: adn.com

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