9-Year-Old Hunter Seriously Injured After Bear Attack, Family Member Shoots and Kills Bear

by Taylor Cunningham

A 9-year-old boy was seriously injured during a hunting trip near Anchorage, Alaska after being attacked by a brown bear.

The boy and a 41-year-old man were hunting in the Palmer Hay Flats area on Tuesday night (Sept 20) when they came across the animal, the Alaska Public Information Office said in a statement. The adult shot and killed the bear once it began to attack the child.

Both the boy and the adult went to a nearby hospital. The man suffered minor injuries.

State troopers shared that the two are related, but they did not say how. The troopers also did not give the victims’ identities nor did they share any details about the boy’s current condition.

Police and officers with the Alaska Department of Fish will return to the site of the bear attack today to investigate the incident and determine if the animal poses a further threat.

US Army Soldier Dies During a Bear Attack

There have been several reported bear attacks in Alaska this year, including an incident that involved a 33-year-old hunter and a US soldier. The hunter survived his injuries. But sadly, the soldier was killed.

In May, members of the 673rd Security Forces Squadron were training in Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson, which lies just west of the Anchorage Regional Landfill, when the animal attacked, killing 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Seth Michael Plant.

Sgt. Plant was an infantryman from the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The soldier had been posted at the base since July 2021 following a tour in Afghanistan.

“Staff Sgt. Plant was an integral part of our organization,” Lt. Col. David J. Nelson, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, shared in a statement. “He was a positive and dedicated leader who brought joy and energy to the paratroopers who served with him.”

Plant was stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Bragg in North Carolina prior to Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson. He joined the US Army in 2015 after serving as a reservist.

An investigation found that the Staff Sgt. had been working in a remote area and neared a den with two brown bear cubs. Officials believe that the bear attacked to protect the cubs

“He always had a smile on his face, he always went above and beyond what was asked of him, and he served as an inspiration to all who had the privilege to know him,” Nelson added. “His loss is deeply felt within our organization, and we offer our sincere condolences to friends and family.”