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A woman and her child were killed by a polar bear in Alaska

File photo of a polar bear (June 15, 2014)
A woman and a child were killed by a polar bear in Alaska
Posted at 9:50 AM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 20:53:31-05

A polar bear killed a woman and child in Alaska, authorities said. Alaska State Troopers said they were alerted to a polar bear attack at around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Initial reports indicate the polar bear entered a community in Wales and chased several residents, according to Alaska State Troopers. The attack reportedly occurred in the village near the school.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety said in a news release: “The bear fatally attacked an adult female and juvenile male – it was shot and killed by a local resident as it attacked the pair.”

The agency has identified the victims as 24-year-old Summer Myomick of Saint Michael and her 1-year-old son Clyde Ongtowasruk. Next of kin has been notified.

Polar bear killings of people in the U.S. are rare. According to a study published by The Wildlife Society, there were only six polar bear attacks in the U.S. between 1870-2014.

From 1870–2014, we documented 73 attacks by wild polar bears, distributed among the 5 polar bear Range States (Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, and United States), which resulted in 20 human fatalities and 63 human injuries. We found that nutritionally stressed adult male polar bears were the most likely to pose threats to human safety. Attacks by adult females were rare, and most were attributed to defense of cubs.

Wales is located at the tip of Western Alaska. Officials with the state's Department of Fish & Game are planning to travel to the remote area as weather conditions allow to investigate the incident.



Wales is located on the westernmost point of the American mainland on the western tip of the Seward Peninsula. It is 111 miles northwest of Nome.