North

Alaska man sentenced, fined after killing polar bear and wasting its meat

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.

Whaling captain Christopher Gordon, 36, pleaded guilty in December

Christopher Gordon pleaded guilty to shooting a polar bear and leaving its body for months in the front of his home in Kaktovik, an island village on Alaska's northern coast. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

An Alaska whaling captain was sentenced to serve three months in federal prison, followed by a year of parole and a $4,500 fine after he 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 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 an 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.

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