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Man sentenced after killing polar bear, wasting its meat

A polar bear cub kisses his mother in Wapusk National Park on the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Man. on Nov. 4, 2007.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
February 29, 2020 - 9:30 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska whaling captain was sentenced to three months in federal prison, a year of parole and a $4,500 fine after he fatally shot a polar bear and left the carcass to waste in his yard.

Christopher Gordon, 36, pleaded guilty in December to shooting the bear and leaving its body for months in the front of his home in Kaktovik, an island village on Alaska's northern coast, Anchorage Daily News reported.

Gordon left meat from hunting bowhead whales on his property for a substantial period of time, despite having access to whale meat storage lockers in town, which then attracted a variety of animals, including the polar bear, prosecutors said.

A snow-removal vehicle hit the bear three weeks after Gordon shot and left it, prosecutors said. The carcass was then taken to a dump to be incinerated after about five months, and no part of the animal was ever salvaged.

Gordon, who is Alaska Native, is allowed to hunt polar bear and bowhead whale under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, but is only permitted to hunt for subsistence, authorities said.

U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline sentenced Gordon on Friday.

Gordon had numerous opportunities to use portions of the bear, including for food or clothing, but did not, Beistline said.

In addition to his sentence, Gordon will only be permitted to hunt bowhead whale during his yearlong parole, but no other marine mammals.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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