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Why 35,000 Walruses Have Come Ashore in Northwest Alaska

walruses
Corey Accardo/AP

The image you’re looking at is a record number of Pacific walruses gathered on a shore near Point lay, Alaska. 

Government scientists recorded the phenomenon during their annual aerial survey of marine mammals. According to scientists, the walruses are coming ashore because the sea ice they normally rest on off shore has melted. The melting ice signals and highly unusual walrus gathering both signal dramatic climate changes in the Arctic.

Margaret Williams, the managing director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Arctic program, said the massive walrus gathering is concerning.

“The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high, 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 told the Huffington Post.

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Why 35,000 Walruses Have Come Ashore in Northwest Alaska