State troopers reported on Tuesday afternoon that a polar bear killed a woman and a boy in Wales, Alaska. Around 2:30 in the afternoon, a polar bear was reported to have arrived in the town and chased several locals.
Two people were killed by the bear, according to the troopers. The bear attacked the pair, prompting a local resident to shoot it and kill it.
In their report, authorities did not name the deceased, but are in the process of notifying their relatives. As soon as the weather permits, troopers are dispatching personnel to Wales with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Wales is a small settlement of fewer than 150 people, situated near the Seward Peninsula, directly along the Bering Strait, about one hundred miles north of Nome.
Polar bears are rarely seen along the Bering Strait and on the northern Seward Peninsula. Alaska Department of Fish and Game reports that some of them migrate as far south as St. Lawrence Island during the winter season.
Humans are the only natural predators of these majestic creatures, and males can reach a weight of 1,200 pounds and females can reach 700 pounds.
In Alaska, there have been very few fatal polar bear attacks. In 1990, a polar bear killed a person in Point Lay, a village north of Wales. Biologists noticed signs of malnutrition in the bear, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
USGS researchers in Alaska observed an increase in polar bear activities on land in 2019, which changes in the sea ice environment have accompanied.