A tragedy unfolded in Wales, a village in Alaska located on the Seward Peninsula. Home to approximately 150 people and polar bears, two people fell victim to a vicious attack on January 17. Alaska mom Summer Myomick, 24, and her baby boy, Clyde Ongtowasruk III, 1, became victims of the first polar bear attack… in 30 YEARS! Alaska State Troopers identified the bodies on Wednesday, one day after the attack. It is explained that the attack came in around 2:30 pm. Myomick was walking with her son between the school and the Wales clinic when the bear attacked them. Moreover, it is explained that the bear chased many people.

Bering Strait School District officials say the mauling occurred next to the front entrance of Wales’ Kingikmiut School building. In the wake of this tragedy, Susan R. Nedza, the district’s chief school administrator, explains that people were rushed inside after spotting the bear. Nedza says, “The bear tried to enter with them. It’s terrifying. Not something you’re ever prepared for.” A GoFundMe page was set up to help cover the funeral costs. The goal was $15,000, however, $16,135 has been raised with over 290  donations.

Alaska mom, and son, 1, killed in rare polar bear attack

The page reads, “On Tuesday, January 17th, 24-year-old Summer Myomick and her baby boy, Clyde Ongtowasruk III, tragically passed away after injuries sustained in what was the first fatal polar bear attack in Alaska in over 30 years. Their immediate family is currently and had been displaced after recent electrical issues in their home that have yet to be resolved. In the face of unfathomable tragedy and heartbreak, we kindly ask for support of the family and community of Wales to help ease any associated financial burdens in this trying time (including travel expenses for Summer and Clyde “Bups” Ongtowasruk Jr.’s family, which is mostly by small passenger airplane only in villages), and to aid in getting “Bups” and Avatia back into their home. A memorial service is set to be held in Wales, followed by a funeral service in St. Michael.”

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Senior director of conservation at Polar Bears International, Geoff York, opened up after this tragic incident. York says, “In this case, the bear had chased multiple people, which indicates it’s a bear that’s desperate. Polar bears should be out on ice successfully finding natural prey — seals, small walrus and other animals in that region — so what this particular bear was doing onshore remains to be seen. This was the time of year that I think if I lived in Wales, my guard would be down. As things are changing, we might have to change our attitudes.”