Polar bear kills woman and young boy after ransacking remote Alaskan village
A polar bear chased and killed a woman and a young boy when it entered a remote Alaskan village community before a resident could shoot and kill the bear during the attack.
The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Wales, Alaska — the westernmost point of the mainland United States with an estimated population of about 170 people — when a polar bear reportedly encroached on the community, police said.
“Initial reports indicate that a polar bear has entered the community and has driven several residents away,” said a statement released Tuesday by the Alaska Department of Public Safety following the attack. “The bear fatally attacked an adult female and a young male.”
The bear was shot by a local resident when it attacked the victims, authorities said.
Polar bear attacks are very rare, but male polar bears can weigh between 600 and 1,200 pounds and female polar bears between 400 and 700 pounds, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Their average lifespan is about 25 years.
“The current and projected reduction in sea ice has led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list polar bears throughout their range as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA),” the Department of Wildlife said. Fishing and hunting in Alaska. “Thinner ice and longer ice-free periods in the summer could shorten polar bear hunting times and lead to population declines.”
An investigation into the attack is ongoing as “soldiers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game make efforts to travel to Wales weather permitting,” the department confirmed. of Alaska public safety.
The identities of the victims have not yet been confirmed and reports from next of kin are ongoing.
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