BY Ole Braatelien, The Western JournalJune 18, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | June 18, 2023
1 year ago

Unprovoked Bear Attacks and Kills Man Having Coffee, Drags Him 75 Feet Down Embankment

Steven Jackson, 66, was killed by a bear near Prescott, Arizona, on Friday before a neighbor could shoot the attacking animal, officials said in a statement.

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office stated Jackson was having coffee at his campsite property in the Groom Creek Area, where he was building a home, when a male black bear attacked him.

The beast dragged Jackson roughly 75 feet down an embankment and continued to maul him, police said.

Neighbors heard the screams and tried to intervene.

"There was quite a struggle," Sheriff David Rhodes of YCSO said. "Neighbors responded -- they heard him yelling, calling out for help. They responded, they tried to get the bear to stop attacking him. There was honking horns, different things they were doing -- there was no success in stopping the attack."

One neighbor eventually retrieved his rifle and shot the bear, causing it to disengage but Jackson had succumbed to his injuries by then.

The YCSO dispatch center received a number of 911 calls around 7:50 a.m., but by the time deputies and Prescott Police arrived, both Jackson and the bear were dead.

The incident is still under investigation, but one theory is that the attack was predatory, YCSO said.

Arizona Game and Fish Department, who were also on-scene that day, said in a statement that Jackson was not provoking the bear.

“Our hearts go out to Mr. Jackson’s family over today’s tragic incident,” said Todd Geiler, a member of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. “This was an especially aggressive, unprovoked attack that reminds us that wildlife can be unpredictable. On behalf of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, and the entire staff of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, we offer our sincere condolences during this difficult time.”

AZGFD will examine the bear carcass, which they will test for disease.

Bear attacks are rare in Arizona.

There have been 15 since 1990, according to AZGFD. Jackson's was the second fatal attack since then, which is as far back as the department's database goes. The first fatal attack was in 2011, in Pinetop, Arizona.

Black bears are the only bear species in Arizona.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Ole Braatelien, The Western Journal

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