A BP spokesman says a security guard at an Alaska oil field fatally shot a polar bear after the animal approached employee housing.
Spokesman Steve Rinehart says the unidentified guard employed by Purcell Security thought he was firing a bean bag round at the bear at Endicott Oil Field on the North Slope. Instead, he shot the animal with a "cracker round," which Rinehart says makes a loud noise and lights like a firecracker.
The spokesman says the bear was shot Aug. 3 and died a few days later.
Rinehart says it's the first time a polar bear was shot and killed on BP's operations in Alaska. He says the guard was trying to protect people, not hurt the bear.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife didn't comment when asked by KTUU-TV ( http://bit.ly/p9hKnI) about its investigation into the shooting.
Information from: KTUU-TV, http://www.ktuu.com