US soldier killed by bear in Alaska identified by military | American News

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A US soldier has died after being mauled by a bear that authorities say may have been protecting his cubs.

The Army has officially identified him as Staff Sergeant Seth Plant, 30.

He died at an Army hospital in Alaska after Tuesday’s attack.

Another soldier was injured in the attack at a military training area east of Anchorage, the state’s largest city.

Officials said the incident was being investigated and reports so far suggest it was a defensive attack by a female bear protecting her cubs.

The plant came from the town of Saint Augustine in Florida and had been stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson since July, the Army said.

Lt. Col. David J Nelson, commanding officer of the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, said Plant “always had a smile on his face, he always went above and beyond what was asked of him, and he served as an inspiration to all those who had the privilege to know him”.

The location of the bear that mutilated him is unknown.

A den with two brown bear cubs was found nearby, the state Department of Fish and Game said.

Hair collected in an initial investigation matched that of a brown bear, officials said.

Staff Sergeant Seth Michael Plant.  Photo: US Army via AP
Picture:
Staff Sergeant Seth Plant. Photo: US Army/AP
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After the attack, a brown bear approached the area and officials responding to the incident used pepper spray, an irritant that can deter animals.

The ministry said it was authorized to kill bears considered a threat to public safety or involved in deadly attacks.

Game cameras installed during his investigation indicated that an adult bear had returned to the area and left the den site with the cubs.

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