If you live in Alaska, you live in bear country. The worst could happen even while the risk of a bear encounter or attack is low. Since last summer, there have been three bear-related deaths, with the latest earlier this summer in Eagle River.
Polar bears congregate near the village because of bowhead whale bones left on shore by subsistence hunters. But the bears can be trapped there for the winter if they don’t make it onto the sea ice before it retreats in August.