Fatal bear attacks are very rare in Alaska.
Two people, a mother and her son, have died in a polar bear attack in Alaska. The animal was then shot by a local resident.
The facts happened on Tuesday, January 17, at 2:30 p.m. local time in a village in Wales, a particularly remote area of northwest Alaska. “Initial reports indicate that a polar bear entered the village and attacked several residents,” police told The Anchorage Daily News. Investigators are expected to be on site as soon as the weather permits.
Wales is a predominantly Inupiaq village with fewer than 150 residents. It is located in the extreme west of the Seward Peninsula and borders the Bering Strait. It is the northwesternmost inhabited place in the entire North American continent. Fatal polar bear attacks are extremely rare in Alaska.
As the sea ice melts, the ocean remains open much later in the season and polar bears spend more time on land, increasing the risk of human encounters, said Joseph Jessup McDermott, who heads the Alaska Nannut Co-Management Council, which the council brings together for the 15 tribes Alaskans who have traditionally hunted polar bears for a living.