Walrus surprise residents in remote Alaska village

In this April 7, 2018 photo provided by John Christensen Jr., a Pacific walrus rests on a beach a few miles outside Port Heiden, Alaska. Male walruses traditionally spend summers in the Bering Sea near Bristol Bay about 120 miles north of Port Heiden. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says they may be seeking new foraging grounds. (John Christensen Jr./via AP)


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Residents of a remote Alaska village have been spotting Pacific walrus in unusual places.

Hundreds of walrus were photographed last month on the Alaska Peninsula, the land mass that juts out toward the Aleutians.

Port Heiden Tribal Council President John Christensen, Jr. says he was out for a beach ride on his four-wheeler and photographed about 200 walruses on a beach.

He says he’s never seen more than one or two in the area.

Two weeks later, Christensen saw more than a thousand walruses gathered about 20 miles (32 kilometers) outside the village.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Joel Garlich-Miller says male walruses traditionally spend summers near Bristol Bay about 130 miles (209 kilometers) to the north.

He says the animals may be looking for new areas to forage.

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