Welcome to Walrus Island! Scores of marine mammals turn iceberg in the ocean off Alaska into floating ‘houseboat

April 14, 2013 2:40 pm 0 comments Views: 1051

After a hard day of hunting for molluscs, a weary walrus needs a place to relax.

These mammals seen clustered onto a chunk of ice floating in the Chukchi Sea 20 miles off the coast of Alaska seem to have hit on the perfect spot.

The photographer who captured the scene said he was ‘amazed’ to spy the walruses relaxing on the iceberg surrounded by open wate

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Herd: Photographer Steven Kazlowski was hovering over the coast in a single-engine plane when he spotted the walruses clustered on the iceberg

 ‘I was sat in a single engine plane with the door 20 miles off shore from the coast of Alaska in the Chukchi Sea,’ said Steven Kazlowski, 43.

‘I was completely amazed when we got to ice floes where there was nothing but open water to the west and it was fantastic to see all the walruses on the ice.’

The walruses rest on the ice, occasionally getting on and off to feed on the sea life below them.

'Walrus island': Dozens of the mammals are seen piled onto an iceberg floating in the Chukchi Sea, 20 miles off the coast of Alaska‘Walrus island’: Dozens of the mammals are seen piled onto an iceberg floating in the Chukchi Sea, 20 miles off the coast of Alaska

Mr Kazlowski, from Kingston, near Seattle, Washington, said there were walruses of all ages on the floating ice, including a few large bull walruses.

‘The island is a safe resting place that acts as a houseboat and moves them around their feeding grounds,’ he said.

‘This way it helps them as they do not over use and feed for too long in a certain area on the sea floor below.

‘It was simply an amazing sight and it was definitely something that I have never seen before.

‘I like the light, the shapes of the ice, and the massive amount of walruses on them.

‘We were careful to stay far enough away so we didn’t disturb them and flew around the area for a bit before we needed to move on,’ he added.

Hunters: Walruses forage for shrimp, crabs and molluscs on the sea floor, often from sea ice platformsHunters: Walruses forage for shrimp, crabs and molluscs on the sea floor, often from sea ice platforms

Black spot: The crowd of walruses creates a dark patch amid the white ice floes bobbing in the Chukchi SeaBlack spot: The crowd of walruses creates a dark patch amid the white ice floes bobbing in the Chukchi Sea

Floating home: The iceberg is all but obscured from view due to the mass of walruses huddled on top of itFloating home: The iceberg is all but obscured from view due to the mass of walruses huddled on top of it

Wildlife: Hundreds of walruses bob in the water alongside floating chunks of ice in the Chukchi Sea, AlaskaWildlife: Hundreds of walruses bob in the water alongside floating chunks of ice in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska

Archipelago: A group of walruses make themselves comfortable on a smaller chunk of ice floating in the seaArchipelago: A group of walruses make themselves comfortable on a smaller chunk of ice floating in the sea

Squeeze: Scores of the mammals are crammed together on the chunk of ice, which the photographer said acts as a safe 'houseboat' for the creaturesSqueeze: Scores of the mammals are crammed together on the chunk of ice, which the photographer said acts as a safe ‘houseboat’ for the creatures

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