An Arizona man having a morning espresso was fatally attacked on Friday by a male black bear that caught him unaware and dragged him down an embankment earlier than a neighbor shot and killed it, officers stated.
A preliminary investigation by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Workplace decided that Steven Jackson, 66, of Tucson, had been sitting at a desk on his property within the Groom Creek space south of Prescott the place he was constructing a house, the workplace stated in a press release.
The bear attacked Mr. Jackson and dragged him about 75 toes down an embankment, in keeping with officers.
“Neighbors who heard the sufferer screaming tried to intervene by shouts and automotive horns, however the bear didn’t let go of Mr. Jackson till one neighbor was capable of retrieve his rifle and shoot the bear to get him to disengage,” the assertion stated.
Mr. Jackson was lifeless when officers arrived.
The sheriff’s workplace and officers with the Arizona Recreation and Fish Division stated the assault was “extremely unusual” however “gave the impression to be predatory in nature,” including that there didn’t seem like something on the web site that may have precipitated a bear assault, equivalent to meals or entry to water.
The location of the assault was not close to recreation websites for tenting.
The sheriff’s workplace stated it will examine the loss of life, and the Recreation and Fish Division stated it will look at the bear carcass and check it for illness.
Todd Geiler, a member of the State Recreation and Fish Fee, said in a statement that the assault was “an particularly aggressive, unprovoked assault that reminds us that wildlife may be unpredictable.”
Bear assaults stay exceedingly uncommon, and deadly assaults even rarer nonetheless.
Based on the division, there have been 15 bear assaults on individuals in Arizona since 1990, two of which have been deadly, together with the one on Friday. The final deadly assault occurred in 2011.
Spencer Peter, a biologist with the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minn., stated black bears are usually “actually timid and shy,” however “you’ve got outliers.”
“Some bears are born extra aggressive and daring, and assaults on people are actually uncommon, nevertheless it does occur,” he stated, including that bear assaults on people are inclined to happen in distant areas the place bears are usually not accustomed to individuals.
Ninety p.c of a bear’s food plan is vegetation, Mr. Peter stated, and the vast majority of the remaining 10 p.c is bugs. However occasionally, they do search meat.
“Relying on the place you’re in the US and what’s out there, normally what a bear goes after is no matter is best,” he stated. The assault on Mr. Jackson “might have been food-motivated, nevertheless it’s robust to say for positive.”
Mr. Peter really helpful that individuals who dwell or hike in bear nation hold bear spray or pepper spray readily available always.