What happened to Staff Sgt. Seth Michael Plant?
On Thursday, the U.S. Army named the soldier who died this week after being hurt by a bear in an Alaska military training area.
In a statement, the Army said that Staff Sgt. Seth Michael Plant, 30, was pronounced dead at a hospital on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage after the attack on Tuesday. The attack happened in a training area west of the Anchorage landfill. The Army says that another soldier was hurt, but only slightly.
The Army said in a statement that Plant was from Saint Augustine, Florida, and had been at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson since July 2021.
He was in the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment as an infantryman.
The leader of the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. David J. Nelson, said that Plant “always had a smile on his face, did more than was asked of him, and was an inspiration to all who knew him.”
The Army says that they are looking into the beating.
A den with two brown bear cubs was found nearby, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
In a statement, the department said that after the attack, a brown bear came close to the area, and officials who responded to the attack used bear spray, which is an irritant that can scare bears away. It said that the bear had left.
The department said that hair found during the first part of the investigation into the attack was consistent with a brown bear.
The department said that the bear attacked in a remote part of the military base.
A regional supervisor for the department, Cyndi Wardlow, said that the information they have so far suggests that this was “a defensive attack by a mother bear trying to protect her cubs.”
In the statement, she said, “We are trying to find out everything we can about what happened to make Alaskans safer around wildlife.”
The department said that it can kill bears that are dangerous to the public or that have killed people. It said that game cameras that the department set up as part of its investigation showed that an adult bear had come back to the area and taken the cubs out of the den.
The department said they didn’t know where the bear that attacked on Tuesday was.