Global warming is blamed for walrus stampede deaths

December 17, 2007 5:01:46 AM PST
Some scientists blame the deaths of thousands of Pacific walruses on the disappearance of sea ice caused by global warming.

The walruses died in stampedes earlier this year as they crowded on shorelines along the Asian side of the Bering Strait, which separates Alaska from Russia.

An expert with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the lack of sea ice during the late summer and early fall led to a "pretty sobering year" that was "tough on walruses."

A Russian biologist estimates that as many as 4,000 walruses out of a population of some 200,000 died this year, a death rate that's two or three times the usual number.

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