Armchair travelers will now be able to visit Alaska’s Round Island via the internet and observe its thousands of marine mammals through a live stream sponsored by the state’s fish and game department, thanks to funding provided by explore.org. The donation allows the state to revive a similar program that let people watch walruses in their natural habitat on the island back in 2005 (later canceled because of lack of money).
Located off the southern coast of Alaska, Round Island is visited by more than 14,000 male walruses while females raise pups in another location.
The money will also allow the state to hire 2 people to welcome tourists to the island and try and make sure that any visitors do not disturb the animals. It should be noted, however, that anyone brave enough to venture there needs to be prepared to be “self-sufficient,” while facing extreme weather conditions, and the fact that it is quite far from any medical facilities.
Once operational, the cameras will roll indefinitely all year long, except for one week when Alaska natives conduct their annual walrus hunt.