Defense

Army IDs soldier killed in bear attack at Alaska base

The Army on Thursday identified the soldier who died earlier this week after being mauled by a bear during training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. 

Staff Sgt. Seth Michael Plant, 30, of Saint Augustine, Fla., died from injuries sustained from a bear attack Tuesday, the base said in a statement.  

Plant, an infantryman assigned to 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was part of a small group training in an area west of the Anchorage Regional Landfill, according to the base

He was transported to the base’s hospital after the attack where he was declared dead. 

Another soldier who suffered minor injuries in the attack was treated and released. 

“Staff Sgt. Plant was an integral part of our organization. He was a positive and dedicated leader who brought joy and energy to the paratroopers who served with him,” regiment Commander Lt. Col. David Nelson said in a statement.

“His loss is deeply felt within our organization and we offer our sincere condolences to friends and family.” 

The New York Times reported earlier that Plant, an Afghanistan War veteran, and two other soldiers came across a brown bear den with cubs while scouting a wooded area on the base for land navigation training.  

The mother bear crawled outside the den, knocked down one soldier and attacked Plant before running away. 

“From the soldier’s perspective, there was a flash of brown mass,” Capt. Derek DeGraaf, head of the Northern Detachment of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, told the outlet. “They were attacked and didn’t even see it coming.” 

The mauling is currently under investigation and Alaska Wildlife Troopers were looking for the bear as of Wednesday. 

Tags Afghan war veteran Army bear attack Seth Michael Plant

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