Decapitated WALRUS carcasses being washed ashore in Norton Sound, Alaska

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From ANCHORAGE, Alaska, an unusually high number of walrus carcasses, missing their heads and ivory tusks, have washed up on beaches this summer…alarming wildlife officials.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doesn’t know whether the dozens of walrus carcasses counted along a 40-mile stretch in Norton Sound are part of a crime or whether sloppy hunters are responsible.

Pacific walruses are not considered endangered but can be hunted only by Alaska Natives, who are required to use a certain amount of the animal or face fines for being wasteful. The tusks are often carved or used in native arts and crafts.

“There is no evidence that subsistence hunting is causing a problem,” said John Trent, lead biologist with the Fish and Wildlife walrus program. “I think most people do try very hard. … They absolutely depend on these animals.”

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Non-natives can harvest walrus tusks if they find a carcass, but they can’t profit from them. Officials said cases of a non-native illegally killing a walrus is unusual.

In late June and early July, 79 walrus carcasses, about twice as many as in any year in the past decade were counted, said Steve Oberholtzer, a special agent in Anchorage.

“Every one of them had the head removed,” he said, adding the ones that investigators got a close look at had been shot.

Karl Erickson, a state trooper in Unalakleet, said the incidence of wasteful take has slowed in recent years but perhaps “is ramping back up.
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Thank you Ap News and AP writer, Mary Pemberton.
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OK… Baby Boomers…you know what a tree hugging, animal lover I am…I find this DISTURBING and DISGUSTING!

I understand that there are certain ceremonial rights that American Indians have…after all we did rape them of their land and did horrible, hideous things to them that I still find inhumanities and deplorable…but this is waste…I am not sure if you can eat walrus or not…[don’t freak out Vegans and Vegetarians] but to shot an animal just for its head/tusks and LEAVE its body to wash up on the beaches…makes me sick to my stomach.

I can’t seem to get the Beatles song “I am a Walrus” out of my head…

Save the animals…
~The Baby Boomer Queen~
Coucou Kachou…

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