Christopher Gordon, 35, shot the bear outside his Kaktovik home on Dec. 20, 2018, after it was attracted to butchered whale meat he had allegedly left outside his house, federal prosecutors said in a news release Thursday.
Gordon allegedly left the rotting carcass outside without salvaging any part of it through May 22, 2019, according to the news release. The bear had been buried underneath snow and hidden from view until a snowplow drove by and tore off one of its legs. The unsalvaged remains were then burned in the Kaktovik dump.
While the MMPA allows for self-defense killings, which must be reported within 48 hours, federal prosecutors allege that Gordon shot the bear because it was eating the improperly stored whale meat in his front yard.
Gordon also never reported or tagged the polar bear as required by federal law, Ryan Tansey, a Fairbanks-based federal prosecutor, told Alaska’s Energy Desk.
Coastal Alaska Natives are permitted to harvest polar bears for subsistence and crafts, but not in a wasteful way, the outlet reported.
Gordon faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted.