If you go up to Point Lay you’re bound to see a walrus or two. In fact, there are about 35,000 walrus stuck on a beach in the northwest Alaska city.
According to Fox News, an unusual number of walrus have been coming up on the beach to rest since they can’t find enough sea ice in the Atlantic Ocean. Walrus can’t swim for an indefinite amount of time like seals so they use icebergs as resting places along their journey. With more and more ice melting in the arctic, the walrus are being forced to stay on land.
Margaret Williams, managing director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Arctic program, said: “It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss … The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change.”
Williams said that Alaska isn’t the only area that sees large groups of walrus gathering on the shore. The WWF said that similar events have happened on the Russian side of the Chukchi sea.
So what does 35,000 walrus look like? Check out these amazing (and depressing) photos form NOAA.
— Maryn McKenna (@marynmck) October 1, 2014
— CS Monitor (@csmonitor) October 1, 2014