UPDATE: Mine contractor killed in bear attack in Southeast Alaska identified
Update: Monday, Oct. 1 Alaska Wildlife Troopers have identified the contract employee who was reported dead in a bear mauling near the Greens Creek Mine in Southeast Alaska as Anthony David Montoya, 18 of Hollis, OK. Troopers responded to the attack, which was reported at 8:44 a.m. Monday. They say Montoya was mauled by a sow and two cubs. All three bears were killed prior to Troopers arriving on scene. Next of kin has been notified. Montoya's body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner's office for autopsy. Hecla Greens Creek is the mining company owning and operating the Greens Creek Mine. The company released a statement on a Facebook saying the incident occurred at a remote drill site on the surface of the mine property that can only be accessed by helicopter. Hecla Mining issued a press release Monday afternoon including the same information, with an additional statement from a spokesperson. “This is a tragic incident. Bears are regular visitors in and around our workplace, however this is the first time since the mine opened almost thirty years ago that a bear encounter has resulted in an injury of any kind,” Hecla spokesman Mike Satre said. This is a developing story. Original Story: A contract employee for a mine has been reported dead in a bear mauling near the Greens Creek Mine in Southeast Alaska. Alaska Wildlife Troopers are responding to the attack, which was reported at 8:44 a.m. Monday. Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co. officials say the person killed was a contracted employee at a remote drill site on the mine’s surface that’s only accessible by helicopter. Ken Marsh, with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said once officials confirm the attack is indeed deadly, the agency and Troopers will try to find the bear and kill it, and would investigate what happened leading up to the attack. Greens Creek Mine is a silver, zinc, lead and gold mine on Admiralty Island, 18 miles south of Juneau. Mike Satre, with Hecla Greens Creek Mining Co., said all mine employees and contractors go through bear hazard training in their initial site orientation, and that for certain areas of the mine there are additional precautions taken depending on the risk of bear interactions. The person’s name has not yet been released.