Top of the World Veterinary Pathology

Greta M Krafsur (CSU PVM 2013) and Victoria Woshner, DVM/PHD

Barrow, Alaska is approximately 375 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is one of 10 villages that belong to the North Slope Borough. The North Slope Borough is a very vast and remote land that encompasses 89,000 square miles of land rich in wildlife and oil/gas reserves.   About 5,000 people call Barrow home, 75% of the residents are Inupiat Eskimoes.  Marine mammal susbistence hunting has sustained the North Slope Inupiat Eskimoes for thousands of years.  The native culture stresses the importance of maintaining spiritual ties with the environment, respect for the animals that feed them and sharing with the community.  In addition, the expenses associated with the importation of nontraditional foods make subsistence hunting a necessity.  The bowhead whale (Baleana mysticetus) is the largest  part of the Inupiat Eskimo diet in Arctic coastal villages such as Barrow and Wainwright, Alaska.  When I am not attending veterinary school, I am employed by the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management where I perform necropsies on subsistence harvested marine mammals including bowhead whales, bearded and ringed seals, and walruses.  I also conduct post-mortem examinations on Arctic Fox that are trapped by the USFWS as part of  the Stellar Eider Recovery Project.

In Memory of Arnold Brower,  Sr.

First Whale Landed During the Spring 2009 Whale Hunt

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