U.S. Army Soldier Killed by Bear During Training Exercise in Alaska

The soldier, who has not yet been publicly identified, was attacked in a training area west of Anchorage Regional Landfill

Black Bear
A stock photo of a black bear. Photo: Getty

A U.S. Army soldier stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, died on Tuesday when they were attacked by a bear.

According to a news release published by the base, the soldier was attacked in a training area west of the Anchorage Regional Landfill.

The name of the soldier will not be released until next of kin is notified, the base said in their statement.

The soldier was a member of a small group that was training at a site known as Training Area 412.

"The 673rd Security Forces Squadron initially responded to the incident," JBER said. "Alaska Wildlife Troopers are currently searching for the bear in TA 412, which is closed to the public for all recreation activity."

More information will be announced when it becomes available, they added. The base did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

The base did not identify the species of bear involved in the attack.

In a 2015 article posted by JBER, the base said bears in the area become "considerably more active" during the summer months.

Both black and brown bears live near the base, they added.

While attacks by bears are rare, the U.S. National Park Service has guidelines for what to do depending on the species.

During an encounter with a brown bear, the best means of action is to lay flat on your stomach and place your hands behind your neck. Attempting to fight the bear will only intensify the attack, the NPS said.

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If the encounter is with a black bear, the NPS advises running to a secure place — like a vehicle — or kicking the animal in the face if it attacks.

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