Saturday, January 21, 2023

Polar bear emerged unseen from snowstorm to kill mom, son

  Summer Myomick bundled her baby against the freezing winds whipping off the Bering Sea and stepped outside into a blur of blowing snow. It was a short walk from the school where she had visited relatives to the health clinic about 150 yards (137 meters) away, but the young mother could hardly have seen where she was going — or the terror that was approaching.

Myomick, 24, and her son, 1-year-old Clyde Ongtowasruk, made it just beyond the front of the Kingikmiut School in Wales, Alaska, just below the Arctic Circle, when a polar bear emerged from the impenetrable snow squall and mauled them Tuesday. It was the first fatal polar bear attack in 30 years in Alaska, the only U.S. state that is home to the animals.

As the attack unfolded, the principal ordered a lockdown and closed the blinds so the children couldn’t see what was happening outside the entrance. Several employees and community members left the safety of the building and tried to scare away the bear with shovels.

The mauling stopped temporarily, but only when the animal turned on them, and they rushed back inside. Principal Dawn Hendrickson slammed the door in the face of the charging bear, possibly saving lives, according to Susan Nedza, chief administrator of the Bering Strait School District.  AP

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