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A polar bear killed a woman and a boy in a remote Alaskan village

A polar bear killed a woman and a boy in a remote Alaskan village

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WELLS, Alaska (AP) — A polar bear has attacked and killed two people in a remote village in western Alaska, police say.

Alaska State Police said they received the report of the attack at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Wells, on the western tip of the Seward Peninsula, KTUU reported.

“Initial reports indicate a polar bear entered the community and chased multiple residents,” troopers wrote. “The bear fatally attacked an elderly female and a young male.”

The bear was shot and killed by a local resident while attacking the couple, police said.

The names of the two killed have not been released. Officers said they are working to notify family members.

Troopers and the state Department of Fish and Game plan to travel to Wells as weather permits, the release said.

Wells is a small, mostly Inupiaq town of about 150 people, just over 100 miles (161 kilometers) northwest of Nome.

Fatal polar bear attacks are rare in recent Alaskan history. In 1990, a polar bear killed a man in the north of Wales in the village of Point Lay. Biologists later said the animal was showing signs of starvation, Anchorage Daily News reported.

Alaskan scientists from the US Geological Survey found in 2019 that changes in sea ice habitat coincided with evidence that land use by polar bears was increasing and that the chances of encountering a polar bear had increased.

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