A 35-year-old man from Alaska faces a year in prison after illegally killing a polar bear that is in violation of federal law.
Chris Gordon from Kaktovik in Alaska allegedly shot a polar bear outside his home and left if there for five months without even salvaging any part of the animal, federal prosecutors claimed.
“Mr. Gordon allegedly left butchered whale meat outside in front of his yard of his residence for a substantial period of time, which attracted polar bear, as well as other animals,” Ryan Tansey, a Fairbanks-based federal prosecutor, said.
Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, it is allowed to kill animals in an act of self-defense, however, Gordon was not under attack nor did he report about the polar bear or even tag it as required.
The North Slope village has become a top destination for both tourists and polar bears thanks to the warming Arctic.
Mike Gallagher is a city council member of the village and is also one of those who are concerned about the bears getting near into their homes.
“The bear’s underneath my house in the morning when I go to work,” Gallagher said during a public meeting last month. “Would it be your kid? Would it be my kid? It could be anybody down the street. These bears are getting used to people. They’re domesticated.
Gordon declined to comment about what happened. If he is convicted, he could spend a year in prison and pay a maximum fine of $100,000, according to a report by Alaska’s Energy Desk.
He is scheduled to appear in a Fairbanks court on August.
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