X

25 Walruses Found Dead on Beach

Some were missing heads and tusks in Alaska
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2015 8:11 AM CDT
25 Walruses Found Dead on Beach
File photo of walruses on an ice flow in the Eastern Chukchi Sea, Alaska.   (S.A. Sonsthagen/U.S. Geological Survey via AP, File)

(Newser) – The US Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the deaths of 25 Pacific walruses found on an isolated northwest Alaska beach. A person connected to an Air Force radar station in the remote area spotted the animals and notified the agency this week. The animals included 12 pups, and some were missing their heads and tusks.The cause of death has not been determined, said Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Andrea Medeiros, and investigators do not want to speculate. "We can't come to any conclusions based on a report," she said. "You have to go out and investigate."

story continues below

Only Alaska Natives who live in the state may hunt walrus for subsistence or for the creation of handicrafts or clothing. The missing heads and tusks don't necessarily indicate illegal activity, Medeiros noted. The animals could have died in the ocean and washed ashore, she said. Federal regulations allow anyone to collect bones, teeth, and ivory of dead marine mammals found on beaches or land within a quarter-mile of the ocean, though they must follow certain rules. Walrus skulls with tusk attached are collectors' items. The ivory often is carved and made into jewelry. (Read more walruses stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X