A young mother and her baby brutally lost their lives in the first US polar bear attack in over 30 years.
Summer Myomick and her one-year-old son, Clyde Ongtowasruk, didn’t know they would be taking their final steps as they headed out into a snowstorm Tuesday en route to a nearby health clinic. The St. Michael, Alaska residents had just left the Kingikmiut school building in the small town of Wales, when a polar bear burst into the community and began viciously attacking the pair at around 2:30 p.m., according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
According to Susan Nedza, chief administrator of the Bering Strait School District, principal Dawn Hendrickson quickly put the school on lockdown and closed the blinds as the attack took place right in front of the building — which also serves as a community center — so the children could not see. From there, several community members and school employees attempted to ward off the enormous bear with shovels, but the animal quickly turned on them and chased them back to the building, where Hendrickson “slammed the door” just in time to keep the beast out. The administrator told the Anchorage Daily News Wednesday:
“The polar bear was chasing them and tried to get in as well. Just horrific. … Something you never think you would ever experience.”
The tiny Alaskan whaling community, which consists of just 150 people, has no official law enforcement, so after putting out a distress call to any community member for help, an unidentified resident came and shot the bear dead as it continued to attack the helpless 24-year-old and her baby.
A GoFundMe, which you can visit HERE, revealed that Summer and her family, including her three-year-old daughter, Avatia, had been living in Wales after facing electrical issues in their St. Michael home:
“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.”
Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are currently investigating the horrific scene alongside the Alaska Department of Public Safety, noting that receding ice in the area, and “lack of runway lights in Wales” could be to blame for the unforeseen attack.
Summer and Clyde’s remains were transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy Thursday, as well as samples of the bear for a veterinarian to examine. See more (below):
Our hearts are broken for the young mother and her baby, and their grieving family. Rest in peace.
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