Walruses visit bears

Walruses visit bears

19 August 2015

In early July, polar bears became frequent visitors to Cape Kozhevnikov, which is located nearby the ethnic Chukcha village of Ryrkaypiy.


At first, a female bear with two cubs arrived. She was followed by two young bears, and in the past two weeks an adult bear settled on the cape.


Walruses came to Cape Kozhevnikov a few days ago. Having quickly sounded out the situation, the first 15 brave hearts made it ashore. Following their example, other animals formed a rookery within a couple of days. Now, about 5,000 walruses occupy the eastern side of the cape and not only near water – many are climbing a sea-cliff as well.


“Walruses come ashore Cape Kozhevnikov practically every year starting in 2007, but this time their early appearance there is fairly unusual,” head of the WWF Polar Bear Patrol Viktor Nikiforov said. “Walruses began forming coastal rookeries several weeks earlier than usual, which is probably linked with the retreat of ice far to the north. In early summer, our patrollers and schoolchildren from the Ryrkaypiy village cleaned the shore on which walruses come out regularly. Twenty locals have already registered to be on duty to protect the rookery.”


In the past few years, the appearance of walruses has become a major event in the life of village residents. Owing to the patrol’s active efforts, an increasing number of locals volunteer to clean the shore and protect the rookery and are disturbing the animals much less.


(Photo © Maxim Deminov)