Black bear that killed AZ man was healthy, exam shows

By Michel Marizco
Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2023 - 2:12pm
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2023 - 8:15am

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office
The black bear was shot dead by the time investigators arrived.

A black bear that killed a 66-year-old man near Prescott last week was unprovoked when it attacked, an official necropsy has found.

An Arizona Game and Fish veterinarian examined the black bear. She found that the 7- to 10-year-old male bear was in good health, weighed 365 pounds and was in good nutritional condition. 

→ Bear attacks in Arizona are rare. Why they happen and how to stay safe

The examination found human remains in the bear’s stomach, consistent with injuries on its victim. The bear also tested negative for rabies.

State officials said only one bear in more than 50 years has tested positive for rabies in Arizona. 

They concluded the attack was an unprovoked, predatory one. The bear died of multiple gunshot wounds. A neighbor shot it with a rifle as it attacked Steven Jackson in the Groom Creek area of Prescott National Forest last Friday.