The US soldier who was fatally mauled by a bear in Alaska has been identified by the US Army as a paratrooper and veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
The grisly attack unfolded Tuesday during an ongoing training assignment in a remote corner of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. Army Alaska in a news release Thursday said the 30-year-old staff Sgt. Seth Michael Plant was seriously injured by the bear and was rushed to an on-base hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
“Staff Sgt. Plant was an integral part of our organization,” Lt. Col. David J. Nelson, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, said in a statement.
“He was a positive and dedicated leader who brought joy and energy to the paratroopers who served with him.”
Plant was an infantryman with the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment and was working in a training area at the 64,000-acre joint base, which is also the largest in the state, the Army said. He also received several awards, including the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
A second soldier, who has not been identified, was also injured during the attack. He was treated for minor injuries and has since been released from the hospital, according to the statement.
As of Friday morning, the bear involved in the attack has not been located. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game described her as a female grizzly bear, who may be caring for her cubs in a den somewhere on the base.