Bear kills Army soldier during training in Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska - A US Army soldier has died after being attacked by a bear during a training exercise in Alaska.

An army soldier died after sustaining wounds from a bear attack during a training exercise in Alaska.
An army soldier died after sustaining wounds from a bear attack during a training exercise in Alaska.  © Collage: Christopher STACHE / AFP & LOIC VENANCE / AFP

The victim sustained injuries from a bear attack in Training Area 412 located west of the Anchorage Regional Landfill, according to a news release on Tuesday from the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), where the soldier was stationed.

"The 673d Security Forces Squadron initially responded to the incident," the statement said. "Alaska Wildlife Troopers are currently searching for the bear in TA 412, which is closed to the public for all recreation activity."

The identity of the soldier is currently being withheld until their next of kin is notified. The base also says more information will be released after an investigation into the incident.

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It hasn't been revealed what type of bear attacked the soldier, but wild bears are native to Alaska. Around 30,000 brown and 100,000 black bears currently live throughout the state, according to the Alaska Official Visitors Guide.

A 2015 article by the base briefed base residents on how to deal with a possible confrontation with a bear.

"The sun is out, and so are the bears," it read.

"A wide variety of wildlife calls JBER home and, depending on the season, risks of an encounter can vary. During the summer, bears are considerably more active, which can increase the risk of bear-related incidents."

The advice for a bear encounter? "Slowly leave the area, and never run from a predator."

The advisory also added tips to avoid any unexpected visitors: "Travel in groups and make noise; store food in bear-proof containers; carry bear deterrent and be proficient in using it, and make noise to avoid surprising a bear."

Cover photo: Collage: Christopher STACHE / AFP & LOIC VENANCE / AFP

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