Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Criminal Case Opened After Beheaded Walruses Found in Russia's Far East

An investigation into the mass killings is still ongoing, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the killing of 19 walruses in Russia's far eastern Chukotka, after some of the mammals were found beheaded last month, the district prosecutor general’s office said Wednesday in an online statement.

Park employees stumbled upon the marine mammals' corpses during a routine inspection at the Beringiya National Park in October, the park said last month on its website.

Nine of the animals had been beheaded and their penile bones removed, the park said.

An examination of the carcasses suggested the animals died as a result of gunshot wounds, the report said.

The prosecutors overrode an earlier decision by the Interior Ministry not to initiate criminal proceedings, the prosecutor's statement said.

The baculum, or penile bone, is used in crafts and amulets as a symbol of male power, the Gazeta.ru news website reported.

In walruses, they are exceptionally large and can reach around 60 centimeters in length.

An investigation into the mass killings is still ongoing, prosecutors said.

Read more

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.