MAN ILLEGALLY KILLS POLAR BEAR OUTSIDE HIS HOME AND LEAVES IT FOR 5 MONTHS
The US DOJ released the following statement about a polar bear that was illegally killed and left to waste in the coastal Alaska village of Kaktovik:
U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced on July 11th that Christopher L. Gordon, 35, of Kaktovik, Alaska, has been federally charged for knowingly taking a polar bear in a manner unlawful under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, by shooting and killing the polar bear and leaving the harvestable remains to waste. Gordon has been charged in Fairbanks with one count of wasteful taking of a marine mammal.
According to the charging document, on Dec. 20, 2018, near the village of Kaktovik, Gordon allegedly left butchered whale meat outside in the front yard of his residence for a substantial period of time, which attracted a polar bear and other animals to his front yard. Gordon then allegedly shot and killed the polar bear because it was trying to eat the improperly stored whale meat; the shooting was not done in self-defense.
Between Dec. 20, 2018, and May 22, 2019, Gordon allegedly left the polar bear carcass in his front yard without salvaging any portion of the polar bear and allowing it to become covered with snow. This caused a snow removal vehicle to move the polar bear carcass and rip off one of its legs. On May 22, 2019, Gordon caused the polar bear carcass to be discarded and burned in the Kaktovik dump without using any of its parts for subsistence purposes.
If convicted, Gordon faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
POLAR BEARS IN KAKTOVIK
In recent years the polar bears have been spending more and more time in the village of Kaktovik. In the fall when the bears are unable to hunt seals, they go to the village and feed on “the bone pile“. The pile is made up of the remains of the whales the villagers use for survival. As one can imagine, the bears have become a nuisance to villagers.
“The bear’s underneath my house in the morning when I go to work,” Mike Gallagher, a city council member, said according to a report by the Alaska Energy Desk. “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.”
Are the charges justified? Or is there an acceptable excuse for why this polar bear was illegally killed and wasted?