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Report from Barrow: 4th grader harpoons whale

Photo and caption courtesy of Bridget Edwardsen
This is Paul Patkotak of Barrow. He is a young harpooner for Panigeo crew. Paul harpooned this whale and once he harpooned it, it officially died. The whale was 32'7". Paul is the son of Maria & Ellis Patkotak and he is only in 4th grade!Photo and caption courtesy of Bridget Edwardsen
This is Paul Patkotak of Barrow. He is a young harpooner for Panigeo crew. Paul harpooned this whale and once he harpooned it, it officially died. The whale was 32'7". Paul is the son of Maria & Ellis Patkotak and he is only in 4th grade!

By BRIDGET EDWARDSEN, of Barrow:

On Tuesday around noon, Panigeo crew struck a whale. Pauyuuraq Brower of Barrow shot the whale with the darting gun. Then Paul Patkotak, 9-year-old son of Maria & Ellis Patkotak, harpooned the bowhead whale and officially killed the whale.

Paul is a 4th grader at Ipalook Elementary School & is very into his culture. He loves to go whaling with his uncle Qulliuq Pebley, who is the Captian of Panigeo Crew, he loves to go subsistence hunting and camping. The family was overjoyed in tears when they heard that their 9-year-old Paul harpooned the 32' 7" whale.

This is big news for Barrow, usually kids are not allowed on the boat until they are a certain age. I think Paul is the youngest kid to actually harpoon & kill a bowhead whale.

Once they arrived & beached the whale, the family was overjoyed. His mother could not believe that her son actually caught the whale.

Photo courtesy of Bridget EdwardsenPhoto courtesy of Bridget Edwardsen

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