A polar bear was shot and killed on BP's Endicott Oil Field in the North Slope.
According to BP spokesperson Steve Rinehart, the company and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting. USFWS officials say they can't comment on an ongoing investigation.
Rinehart said a guard with Purcell Security, which has BP's North Slope security contract, shot the bear after it continued to approach employee housing. The guard thought he was shooting the bear with a non-lethal beanbag round; instead it was inadvertently shot with a cracker round, which emanates loud noises and lights like a firecracker.
The bear was shot Aug. 3 and probably died Aug. 15, according to Rinehart.
Rinehart said this is the first time a polar bear has been shot and killed on BP's operations in Alaska.
"This outcome was clearly unintended," Rinehart said. "The guard was trying to protect people. He was not trying to hurt the bear. We feel awful about it. I know anyone who's had anything to do with this feels badly about it."
Contact Rebecca Palsha at firstname.lastname@example.org