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Woman, young boy killed by polar bear in remote Alaska village

Alaska State Troopers say a polar bear attacked and killed a woman and a boy in a remote western Alaska village.

KTUU reported the attack happened around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Wales, on the western tip of the Seward Peninsula.

Troopers said the bear entered the village and chased several residents before fatally attacking the woman and boy.

As the attack unfolded, troopers said a resident shot and killed the bear.

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The victims have not yet been identified as authorities work to notify family members.

Wales is a small, predominantly Inupiaq town of about 150 people, just over 100 miles northwest of Nome.

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According to the Anchorage Daily News, fatal polar bear attacks have been rare in Alaska’s recent history.

In 1990, a polar bear killed a man farther north of Wales in the village of Point Lay. Biologists later said the animal showed signs of starvation.

Alaska scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey in 2019 found changes in sea ice habitat had coincided with evidence that polar bears’ use of land was increasing and that the chances of a polar bear encounter had increased.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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