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Black bear kills Pogo explorer


Last updated 1/15/2018 at 2:32pm

Sumitomo Metal Mining Pogo June 19 reported that a contract employee was fatally attacked by a bear while carrying out geological field work on the Interior Alaska gold property.

A second contract employee that was attacked was transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released the same day.

The victims were working at an exploration site about five miles away from the main camp at the Pogo Mine when the bear attacked.

A mayday was called and in accordance with site emergency response procedures, a helicopter responded with a paramedic and a physician's assistant on board.

Pogo Mine personnel immediately reported the attack to the Alaska State Troopers.

The bear, which was later identified as a cinnamon black, was killed under the direction of Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

Following the incident, all field personnel were evacuated and brought back to the main camp.

Black bears are typically timid and avoid direct human contact.

Including the attack at Pogo and another fatality a day earlier near Anchorage, Alaska, there have been ten reported fatalities as a result of black bear attacks in North America since 2010.

Alaska Troopers and a specialist from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game arrived at Pogo a few hours after the incident and were transported to exploration site to investigate the scene.

A representative from the U.S. Mine Safety & Health Administration later that day and began an investigation on June 20.

"Right now we have more questions than answers. Everyone on site is concerned for those involved," said Pogo General Manager Chris Kennedy. "Our condolences have been shared with our contractor and our hearts go out to the individuals, their colleagues, and their families."



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