35,000 Walruses Can’t be Wrong about Climate Change: Crowd beach b/c “extreme retreat of sea ice”

ODN/ ITN

“Photographed on Saturday, images were taken of at least 35,000 walruses who beached themselves on a remote Alaskan coastline. The huge gathering was spotted during the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual arctic marine mammal survey. And according to experts, the phenomenon is being blamed on the melting of arctic ice due to climate change. The walruses can be seen resting on the land, instead of offshore ice, because of “an extreme retreat of Alaska’s summer sea ice,” according to US Geological Survey. The organisation has said the walruses have been forced onto shore in order to continue their patterns of resting in between feedings from the sea floor. Walruses are accomplished divers and frequently plunge hundreds of feet to the bottom of the continental shelf to feed. But they use sea ice as platforms to give birth, nurse their young and elude predators, and when it is scarce or non-existent they haul themselves up on land. Report by Claire Lomas.”

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