ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A growing influx of musk oxen in the western Alaska town of Nome has prompted wildlife officials to open a subsistence hunt early for the large shaggy animals.
Officials, however, say only five animals can be killed beginning Aug. 1 because the population in the entire region is shrinking significantly yearly, and the stock must be conserved.
That's little consolation to Nome residents, who say the oxen have trampled dogs and created traffic hazards.
State biologist Tony Gorn says he doesn't believe that hunting a few local musk oxen will create a dent among about 150 animals to be loitering locally.
Bears preying on musk oxen likely drove the creatures to the town of 3,600 starting about five years ago. Nome is located 540 miles northwest of Anchorage.