Arizona man, 66, is mauled to death by a bear in an ‘unprovoked attack’ while enjoying morning coffee outside a cabin in the woods he was building
- Steven Jackson, 66, was dragged 75ft down an embankment where he succumbed to his injuries
- A neighbor shot the bear in an effort to stop the attack, but it was too late
An Arizona man died Friday following an unprovoked attack by a black bear.
Steven Jackson, 66, was attacked by the bear as he sat drinking his morning coffee in a wooded area of Groom Creek in Yavapai County where he was building a cabin, the office said. of the county sheriff.
There was a struggle before the bear dragged Jackson 75 feet down an embankment as he screamed for help.
Neighbors soon arrived on the scene: “They tried to get the bear to stop attacking it, there were horns, different things they were doing,” Rhodes said.
“There was no success in stopping the attack.”
The wooded area of Groom Creek where Steven Jackson was mauled to death by a black bear
A neighbor, hearing Jackson’s distress, shot the bear with a gun but it was too late. The bear is pictured after being killed
A neighbor then arrived with a gun and shot the animal to stop the attack, but Jackson was already dead.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to Mr. Jackson’s family,” Sheriff David Rhodes said in a statement.
“I cannot express how deeply sad this situation is and I can only say that our prayers are with you.”
The sheriff’s office was called around 7:50 a.m. and arrived on the scene shortly after with animal control officers.
The sheriff’s office believes the attack was unprovoked and there was no obvious food or anything else that would have attracted a bear.
“At first glance, there did not appear to be anything on the site that would have precipitated a[n] attack by the bear, such as food, a cooking site or access to water,’ the sheriff’s office said.
Darren Tucker, a field supervisor for the Arizona Department of Fish and Game, said the bear is believed to be between 6 and 10 years old.
The investigation into the murder is ongoing and an autopsy of the bear will also be carried out.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing and an autopsy of the bear will also be carried out
Arizona has a healthy population of black bears but attacks are rare
Officials expressed sympathy to Jackson’s family and reminded the public that this was a rare incident.
Tucker pointed out that while bear sightings in the Prescott area are common, attacks are rare.
The last fatal attack in the state, where there is a healthy population of black bears, was in 2011.
The Sheriff’s Office also reminded the public that they cannot shoot bears unless the bear is a threat to themselves or someone else.
“These are extremely rare circumstances and we have never seen this before,” he said.
“We don’t want people to panic, shoot bears, shoot animals.”