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A soldier killed by a bear on a remote part of Alaska’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson this week was identified by the U.S. Army on Thursday.
Staff Sgt. Seth Michael Plant, 30, died at a base hospital in Anchorage on Tuesday of injuries sustained during the mauling, which was consistent with a “defensive attack by a female bear protecting her cubs,” the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said.
Another soldier suffered minor injuries in the attack.
Plant was originally from Florida and had been at the base since last July. He was an infantryman from the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
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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 who had the privilege to know him,” Lt. Col. David J. Nelson, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment commander said in a statement.
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Bear cubs were found near where the attack happened, and a brown bear approached the area after, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said. Bear spray was used to get the bear to leave the area.
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The attack is being investigated, and the department said it can kill bears involved in deadly attacks or considered a threat to public safety.
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It said that game cameras the department placed during its investigation indicated that an adult bear had returned to the area and left the den site with the cubs. It’s current location is unknown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.