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US soldier killed by bear in Alaska is identified by army | US News

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An American soldier has died after being mauled by a bear that officials believe may have been protecting her cubs.

The army has formally identified him as Staff Sergeant Seth Plant, 30.

He died at an army hospital in Alaska after the attack on Tuesday.

Another soldier was injured in the attack in a military training area east of Anchorage, the biggest city in the state.

Officials have said the incident is under investigation and information so far suggests it was a defensive attack by a female bear protecting her cubs.

Plant was from the city of Saint Augustine in Florida and had been stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson since July, the army said.

Lieutenant Colonel David J Nelson, commander of the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, said that 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”.

The location of the bear that mauled him is unknown.

A den with two brown bear cubs was found nearby, the state fish and game department said.

Hair collected during an initial investigation was consistent with that of a brown bear, officials said.

Image:
Staff Sergeant Seth Plant. Pic: US Army/AP

After the attack, a brown bear approached the area and officials who responded to the incident used bear spray, an irritant that can deter the animals.

The department said it is allowed to kill bears that are considered a threat to public safety or are involved in deadly attacks.

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

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