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2 BANISHED TEENS WILL SHARE SEPARATE ISLANDS WITH BEARS

They'll have sleeping bags and tools for cutting firewood and gathering food. But they'll have no way to contact the outside world during a year or more of exile to offshore islands, where the only inhabitants are animals, including black bears.

Two 17-year-old Tlingit Indian boys, Adrian Guthrie and Simon Roberts, were banished to separate islands by tribal elders for beating and robbing a pizza delivery man.It is the first case of a state court referring a criminal case to an American tribal panel for a traditional Indian punishment.

Guthrie and Roberts were held aboard a fishing boat Saturday pending their move to the sprawling Alexander Archipelago of hundreds of mountainous islands off the coast of southeastern Alaska. Tribal officials will not disclose their final destinations.

On Saturday, the teenagers were lounging in the sun. One listened to music on a Walkman as two tribal guards stood watch. The boys would not talk to reporters.

They probably would be taken to their islands during the night for security purposes, elder Byron Skinna Sr. said.

The teenagers pleaded guilty in May to robbing Tim Whittlesey and beating him with a baseball bat while he was working as a pizza delivery man in Everett, Wash. They stole $47 and a pizza. Whittlesey, 25, suffered permanent damage to his hearing and eyesight.

Twelve tribal elders deliberated for three and a half hours Friday night before banishing the two for a year to 18 months.

Elder Byron Skinna said each boy would be given forks for digging up clams, axes and saws for cutting firewood, and some food to carry them through the first few days. He said they would have sleeping bags, and each will build a small shelter, which will be equipped with a wood-burning stove for cooking and heat.

Most of the islands are covered with thick forests and are rich in wildlife, including black bear. Tribal officials would not say if the youths would be given firearms for hunting and protection.

They will be checked on periodically, but there will be no way for them to contact the outside world even in case of emergency.