Federal agency photographs estimated 35,000 walrus ashore in northwest Alaska

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says an estimated 35,000 Pacific walrus have come ashore on Alaska's northwest coast.

Spokeswoman Andrea Medeiros says by email that observers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Sept. 2 flew near Point Lay and photographed the animals.

Walrus dive from sea ice to the ocean floor to feed on clams and sea snails.

Walrus in recent years have some ashore in huge herds when sea ice recedes far beyond the shallow outer continental shelf over water too deep for walrus to reach the sea bed.

Researchers say less sea ice is brought on by climate warming.

Point Lay is an Inupiat Eskimo village 700 miles northwest of Anchorage and 300 miles southwest of Barrow.