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Woman and 1-year-old son killed by polar bear in remote Alaska village identified

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Officials have identified a woman and her 1-year-old son who were killed by a polar bear in a remote village in western Alaska. 

Summer Myomick, 24, of Saint Michael, Alaska, and her 1-year-old son Clyde Ongtowasruk were attacked and killed by a polar bear near a school in Wales, on the western tip of the Seward Peninsula, Alaska State Troopers said Tuesday.

"Initial reports indicate that a polar bear had entered the community and had chased multiple residents," troopers wrote. "The bear fatally attacked an adult female and juvenile male."

The bear was shot and killed by a local resident as it attacked the pair, troopers said.

An Alaska State Trooper and an official with the state Department of Fish and Game traveled to Wales to investigate the attack, Austin McDaniel, a spokesperson for Alaska State Troopers, said in a statement to CBS News on Wednesday night.

The investigators learned the mother and son were walking between the school and a clinic when the attack occurred, McDaniel disclosed.

Their remains have been taken to the state Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy, McDaniel added. 

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

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, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

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.

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