The US Army has identified a soldier who was tragically attacked by a bear in Alaska as a paratrooper who served in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, Staff Sgt Seth Michael Plant, 30, was attacked while on duty at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
Later that day, the native of St Augustine, Florida, was pronounced deceased. Another soldier was hurt as well.
The bear is still being sought by authorities.
The attack took place in a secluded area of the 64,000-acre facility, which is Alaska’s largest military station.
In 2015, he joined the Army and was assigned to the base in July 2021.
According to Alaska’s fish and wildlife agency, a brown bear attacked the soldier on Thursday evening, most likely as a defensive action by a female grizzly guarding her cubs.
After dusk, game cameras captured an adult bear reaching the den and leaving with the cubs.
In a statement, regional supervisor Cyndi Wardlow stated, “We are trying to learn everything we can about what happened to increase public safety around wildlife in Alaska,”
Officials are still looking for the bear, which was engaged in a deadly attack and may have been killed.
The soldiers were assaulted after coming onto the bear lair while inspecting a potential outdoor training location, according to reports.
The military has not said what kind of protective gear the troops carried, including if they had a common sort of chemical pepper spray that may have stopped a charging bear.
The incident is being investigated by the US Army Criminal Investigation Division, as are all deaths on army bases.