Musk oxen increasingly seen Nome area

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

More and more musk oxen are venturing into the Nome area.

Reports say Nome residents and their pets are encountering the massive shaggy animals, with plenty of stories of musk oxen going after people's dogs.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Tony Gorn says there are definitely more musk oxen around town lately. He says that doesn't necessarily mean there are more of the animals overall.

Gorn says the musk oxen population in the Seward Peninsula has actually been declining 13 percent a year.

One resident, Mercie McGuffie, believes more of the animals are being pushed closer to Nome by an increasing number of brown bears in the area.

Gorn calls that hypothesis compelling, saying it appears the movement toward Nome is in response to predation.