ANCHORAGE, DEC. 9 -- A polar bear killed and partially ate a 28-year-old man in a rare attack at a remote Alaska whaling village, local and federal officials said today.

The man, Carl Stalker, was killed by the bear at about 4 a.m. Saturday in the Chukchi Sea village of Point Lay, about 650 miles northwest of Anchorage, according to a statement released by the North Slope Borough Public Safety Office.

Villagers who discovered Stalker's body also found and shot the bear, the statement said.

Officials said Stalker had been walking with his girlfriend in the early morning. Confronted by the bear, Stalker and his companion split up, officials said. A search party led an hour later by the girlfriend found that about half the victim's body had been eaten by the bear, which was sleeping nearby, said Bruce Batten, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

He said that although armed humans have occasional encounters with polar bears on the Arctic pack ice, such deadly attacks are rare.

"We know of no incident in recent history in Alaska when we've had a {polar} bear kill a person," he said. "This is a pretty unusual activity for the bear."