Polar Bear Shot Dead After Killing Mother and Son in Alaska



A polar bear that had been chasing locals in a small, remote community in Alaska killed a mother and her 1-year-old son, according to state troopers on Tuesday. According to the report, the bear attacked the two victims and was shot dead by another local.

After entering Wales in western Alaska, the bear chased locals before attacking the boy and woman, according to an Alaska State Troopers dispatch report.

As soon as the weather permits, Troopers as well as the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are planning to travel to Wales.

According to the US Census, Wales, which is located on the coast of western Alaska, has 168 residents.

Summer Myomick, a resident of Saint Michael, is identified as the adult female killed in the attack. She was 24 years old. Her one-year-old son Clyde Ongtowasruk was also killed by the bear in the attack

According to a report from the Alaska State Troopers, next of kin have been informed.

Extremely Rare Polar Bear Attacks

Polar bear attacks on people are incredibly uncommon, according to a 2017 study by The Wildlife Society. The study claims that between 1870 and 2014, there were 73 documented wild polar bear attacks across the five polar bear range states, including Canada, Norway, Greenland, Russia, and the United States, resulting in 20 human fatalities and 63 injuries.

But as CNN previously reported, the melting of the ice as a result of climate change has prompted a shift in bear behavior and increased the likelihood of bear encounters with humans.

In 2021, locals in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, which is referred to as the “polar bear capital of the world,” told CNN that bear encounters were becoming more frequent. Each fall, thousands of tourists travel there in the hopes of spotting a bear.

Bear Season

Just before Hudson Bay refreezes and bears start to migrate north and assemble near the shore, bear season in the region peaks in October and November.

According to locals, the bear season has lasted longer recently due to climate change. Because of earlier melting and later freezing, bears are spending more time on land.

However, AccuWeather‘s data collection and reporting show that attacks on people are still relatively uncommon. The last one occurred in 2013, based on the Reuters news agency, and CNN reported that there had not been a fatal attack ever since the early 1980s.

Also Read: Mating Brown and Polar Bear Gives Way to Climate Change-Resilient ‘Brolar’ Bear 

What to Do During a Bear Encounter

Churchill has a population of only 900, they know to always be vigilant and ready for anything. Additionally, it’s common to leave car doors unlocked, just in case someone needs to run for safety from a bear while they are outside.

Carlos Osorio, a photographer who visited Churchill, advised having a vehicle, a companion, or a way to frighten a bear.

Some people shoot whatever weapons they have into the air while carrying shotguns. People without a permit to carry guns could instead use “bear bangers,” which are essentially really loud cap guns with a small flare on them. According to reports from CNN, if they find themselves in a situation like that, the citizens of Churchill will use that method to scare the bear away.

Related Article: Canadian Polar Bears Dying Out, Populations Down to 600 in Polar Bear Capital of the World

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