Alaska man to accept 4-month sentence for killing polar bear

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska man has agreed to plead guilty to killing a polar bear without harvesting its meat, authorities said.

Chris Gordon of Kaktovik reached a plea deal with prosecutors in which he will accept a maximum prison sentence of four months and a $4,500 fine, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported.

The killing violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act, authorities said.

The whaling captain is also expected to agree not to hunt marine mammals except bowhead whales for a year after sentencing.

Gordon was charged in July with a single count of “wasteful taking of marine mammal.”

Gordon shot the polar bear in front of his house after it was attracted by butchered whale meat in his front yard, authorities said.

Gordon acknowledged he failed to use bear-resistant food storage lockers for the whale meat and that a snow removal vehicle moved the polar bear carcass a few weeks after Gordon killed it.

Several months after that he “caused the polar bear carcass to be discarded and burned in the Kaktovik dump without ever using or salvaging any of its parts,” the plea agreement said.

The snow removal vehicle also ripped a paw from the bear. He told federal agents they could take the paw because it would “save me a trip to the dump,” the agreement said.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act allows the killing of animals in self-defense, but the plea agreement said that is not why Gordon shot the polar bear.

A spokeswoman for the Anchorage-based federal prosecutors declined to comment.

Gordon’s defense attorney Brian Stibitz did not immediately return a message from the Associated Press seeking comment.

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Information from: KSKA-FM, http://www.kska.org