35K Walruses Forced Onto Alaska Beach

Around 35,000 walruses were spotted clustered together on a beach near the village of Point Lay in northwestern Alaska on Saturday by federal biologists. It marked one of the largest gatherings of the animals documented in the region. As adorable as the mass of walruses is, there are significant concerns about their clustering, including the risk that smaller walruses will be trampled to death. (Thirty-six walruses have already been found dead.) Walruses gathering on shore is a sign of a changing climate. “The massive concentration of walruses onshore—when they should be scattered broadly in ice-covered waters—is just one example of the impacts of climate change on the distribution of marine species in the Arctic,” said Margaret Williams of the World Wildlife Fund’s Arctic program in a statement.