Kaktovik Residents See More Polar Bears Than Usual

This time of year most Alaskan communities are welcoming the scenery of migrating birds and falling leaves, but one northwest village plays host to polar bears.

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by Megan Mazurek

KAKTOVIK - This time of year most Alaskan communities are welcoming the scenery of migrating birds and falling leaves, but one northwest village plays host to polar bears.

Residents say the village of Kaktovik has seen more polar bears then usual this year.

One report said there were as many as 80 polar bears feeding on a rotting bowhead whale.

An assistant city clerk told Your Alaska Link the whale came off a harpoon while hunters were trying to bring it ashore and residents were looking all over for it.

The bowhead was eventually found washed ashore with polar bears feeding on the carcass. Only baleen remained once the polar bears left.

One resident said about 27 polar bears and 2 to 3 brown bears hanging around the village due to the whaling season and sea ice conditions.

"The sea ice really helps the ocean out there because they have to go so far away the ice would help for it just to be calm," said Athena Thompson, Assistant City Clerk for Kaktovik. "But because there's not much ice it gets pretty wavy like 5 feet 10 feet if it gets super windy."

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center arctic sea ice hit a record low September 16th 2012.

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Anna John said on Monday, Oct 1 at 11:44 AM

Well, take a look at the map, where Kaktovik is? Before the bear huggers go nuts.... It is way way on top of Alaska. I can hear the tears, the weeping .... augghh!

Emily said on Wednesday, Sep 26 at 4:08 PM

My BFF seen 98 once

Skye said on Wednesday, Sep 26 at 4:06 PM

I love polabears but my boyfrend Joe he saw 40 of them and took a picture

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