Caribou heart attack: Was the organ meat carrying a deadly pathogen?



The science is clear — handling raw caribou organs can be a hazardous activity, especially if the animal is infected with Brucellosis, which occasionally it is in Alaska.

Allowing the raw organs to come in contact with your skin is not something to be taken lightly, as most hunters know. Brucellosis is a highly contagious disease caused by the Brucella suis bacteria type 4 found in caribou and reindeer.

When Anchorage activist Kathleen Bonnar tried to toss or shove a raw and bloody caribou heart at U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and his wife Julie, she could have been tossing a deadly infection at him. Blood from the organ, which had been tied with a clumsy noose, spattered onto “heart-stopping” Matt Shuckerow, as he wrestled the item from her and ushered Bonnar out the door of the fundraiser on Saturday evening.

Kathleen Bonnar tries to throw a raw caribou heart at Sen. Dan Sullivan and his wife, Julie, but is blocked by Campaign Manager Matt Shuckerow, while Steve Strait subdues one of Bonnar’s accomplices, as the Sullivans look on in surprise.

It was unclear at the time just what Bonnar was reaching for in her bag, but the immediate reaction from witnesses was that they thought it might be a gun, a bomb, or some other weapon.

Shuckerow, a longtime political aide, has worked in Washington, D.C. on the staffs of both Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, and he personally knows people who were shot by the gunman at a congressional staff baseball game in 2017. Shuckerow knows the dangers that lawmakers face these days, particularly with the unhinged Left.

It turns out, this time it was just blood and guts being slung with a two-foot-long nylon rope tied to it, a raw organ from an animal considered sacred in some Alaska Native cultures.

Brucellosis is spread in the afterbirth and fluids during calving, according to the Department of Fish and Game. There hasn’t been a case reported in a few years, but animals may appear healthy and not show any signs of disease. You can get the disease if the blood, fluid, or tissue from an infected animal comes in contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, or skin. Shuckerow did get blood on him during the brief encounter with Bonnar. His shirt was stained in blood by the time the woman was removed from the building.

Bonnar, who until very recently worked at the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau as a content specialist, might not have known that without gloves, she may be infected with the illness that is characterized by a high fever that comes and goes with frequency — the same symptoms as COVID-19.

Kathleen Bonnar receives an award from the Public /Relations Society of America while she worked as a public relations specialist at South-central Foundation.

Since Bonnar works at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium these days, she should be able to get herself tested for either Brucellosis or COVID-19 at no cost to herself.

Ironically, her now-future boss Andy Teuber was attending the Sullivan event as a guest.

Bonnar explains her new twist on Gwich’in gift-giving traditions this way on Facebook, without describing the screaming, yelling, and threatening behavior:

As for the caribou heart, it ended up in a bloody splat on the floor before being moved to the trash. Event organizers did not think of having it tested.

Other notes about the people associated with the attack on Saturday in Anchorage:

Crystal Berwick: The woman who bull-rushed and hip-checked Shuckerow is a TSA agent. She tried to prevent Shuckerow from stopping Bonnar from following through with her “gifting” of the raw heart to the Sullivans. Berwick is a registered Democrat who began voting in Alaska in 2015. Her trail leads back to the East Coast.

Soren Wuerth: A teacher at Dimond High School, his name may be familiar to Must Read Alaska readers. Wuerth has taught classes in nonviolent civil disobedience in his spare time. While he was teaching such a class three years ago, a man came into the building and pepper-sprayed the participants.

Rina Kowalski: She said she tried to unfurl a “Heartless Sullivan” banner, but it was taken away from her by bystanders and she also tried to intervene against Shuckerow, who was attempting to stop Bonnar from harming the senator and his wife.

Rina Mae was also a protester in Washington D.C. in 2018 against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Fairbanks News Miner photo shows Kowalski at a protest in the nation’s capital against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Interestingly, Rina, as she is known, gave a fake name to event organizers. She wore a name tag that said she was Dana Dardis, who is an older radical activist in Anchorage, but who was not observed at this event.

Erin Jackson: A staffer for the Poor People’s Campaign, she is a paid agitator who was instrumental in the tent city occupation of the Delaney Park Strip last summer, as well as the tent occupation of the Valley of the Moon Park. She was in Wasilla and occupied the legislature as they were meeting at the Wasilla Middle School. Her funding comes from Outside.

Will Bean: He goes by the pronoun “they,” rather than a gender, and is an LGBTQ+ activist.

Several of the members of this protest are associated with the Native Movement nonprofit, whose board includes notable Alaskan Jody Potts, who was a close ally of former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, before she became a foe of his:


  1. I would not be surprised if you dug further to find these agitators are supported by either a Thousand Currents, the Tides Foundation or some other Leftist activist group. It’s too bad they will realize later in life that they’ve been used for their naivite and gullibility. Remember Yuri Bezmenov. “To Bezmenov, “useful idiots” are the American citizens who are unwittingly manipulated and mobilized to carry out a foreign power’s bidding—while thinking it’s their own idea. For proof that these tactics are still alive and well today, one need look no further than the cacophony of celebrity voices that have banded together to self-congratulate for the donations they are making to protesters’ bailout funds.”

  2. Thanks for naming names, that needs to be done as much as possible. Hopefully there’ll be some charges forthcoming.

  3. Symptoms usually appear within five to 30 days after you come in contact with the bacteria. How bad your symptoms are depends on what type of Brucella is making you sick: B. abortus usually causes mild or moderate symptoms, but they are more likely to become chronic (long-lasting).

    Alaskans of many decades know.

    The new Alaskans may wish to go back home. This is a very dirty world.

    Idiots handling unseasoned organ meats have now absorbed God knows what. There are flights out of Anchorage. Handlers of organic bacteria should be sent out of the state ASAP. God help us if the Anchorage Virus starts up. Get the uneducated out of here ASAP!

  4. It is a clear waste of game meat, which is a violation of Alaska fish and game law. Has she been charged?

      • May not be a regulation for wanton waste, but rural culture has at many many meetings testified “we do not waste any parts of game”.

      • Too bad. Heart stew is the first meal we enjoy after harvesting a caribou, and we eat the tongue and liver too. I believe many Native groups have lobbied for organs to be required to be harvested, and had I pulled that stunt at an AFN speech, I bet the waste would have been gasped at with indignation. Maybe this is all yet more evidence that traditional aboriginal values are more a matter of the spirit than ethnicity?

    • Perhaps a proper rebuttal to this caper would be to toss a Moose Noodle at one of their candidates? The message would be ” Get a Brain”?

  5. Clear and simple…….an assault, with intent to harm the victims by force or to give the effect of force by imminent apprehension or perception of force. These women are sick in the head and need to be treated psychiatrically. Dr. Gross may well be putting his US Senate campaign in jeopardy by using these disturbed people to do his bidding for him. Shame on Dr. Gross.

  6. I want to know what Senatorial candidate Al Gross thinks about this behavior. Does he support it or oppose it? It is a simple question. Stand on one side of the line or the other. And while we are at it, same question goes to the lovely Alyse Galvin.

  7. It was a very disturbing event that was outside any standard of acceptable conduct that Alaskans would or should accept. The health, safety and welfare of an Alaskan Senator and wife should never be subjected to the under belly of any group or individual willing to engage in attempted psychological or physical harm. This conduct cannot be dismissed lightly. Security of our elected officials should never be assumed, it must be assured. It was a very disturbing event that unfolded in front of us in attendance that calls for a much higher level of protection.

  8. Still unbelievable that this crass attempt was made to belittle,embarrass, or whatever a sitting US Senator and his wife at His party!! Where was the native respect that we often hear about?

    • Who is paying them? No respect is being given – they are betraying their own heritage for someone else’s gain. Volunteers don’t travel at their own expense from Fairbanks to Anchorage… Or they are hating with an irrational passion. These are some SICK people.

  9. It’s all Alinsky tactics – and if you charge them or physically remove them, they become a martyr and gain even more publicity. They crave attention – we should minimize it. Senator Sullivan said in Fairbanks when someone (I’m assuming the same banner girls with a male accomplice ) tried to unfurl the same banner at the Fairbanks campaign launch: surprised, the Senator simply said, “They have free speech rights too.” The protestors were hustled out fairly quickly. I appreciate Dan’s class in his handling of it. Bolsheviks are not welcome in Alaska.

  10. Consider the writer’s quotes, presented in order:
    • can be a hazardous activity
    • if the animal is infected with Brucellosis
    • occasionally it is in Alaska
    • could have been
    • did not think of having it tested.
    Lots of possibility, zero evidence of certain threat.

  11. We are not allowed to use the word “squaw” anymore, no matter how insane and disturbed a few Native American, Left-wing, Democrat women really are.

  12. What about the heart itself. Is it Caribou season? How was it attained? If there’s an infraction here the Wildlife Troopers should be investigating this.

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