BARROW, Alaska, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A 9-year-old boy in Barrow, Alaska, dealt the killing blow to a 32-foot bowhead whale as part of a hunting lesson, his uncle says.
Whaling crew captain Qulliuq Pebley said his nephew, Paul Patkotak, could possibly be youngest whaler to have ever killed a whale thanks to the recent kill off the coast of Alaska's Point Barrow, the Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday.
"Every now and then it happens. But he's the youngest guy, for sure," Pebley said of Tuesday's hunting incident. "The youngest before was one of my cousins, and he was 15."
Pebley said the whale managed to survive an initial hit from a darting gun, a harpoon equipped with an explosive charge. After a second explosive fired at the whale did not detonate, Pebley said he decided to use the experience as a hunting lesson for Patkotak.
Pebley said his nephew hit the whale in the neck with the darting gun and the explosive quickly dispatched the large animal.
"He's kind of a little guy but he's pretty tough for his age," Pebley offered regarding Patkotak.