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Man killed in 'unprovoked' bear attack in Arizona

The attack happened in the Groom Creek area of the Prescott National Forest.
Man killed in 'unprovoked' bear attack in Arizona
Posted at 10:41 AM, Jun 16, 2023

A 66-year-old man was killed in a bear attack in Arizona. 

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said Friday morning that the attacked happened in Groom Creek Area of the Prescott National Forest.

The man was reportedly sitting at his campsite where he had been building a cabin when the attack occurred.

Witnesses told authorities that they tried to scare the bear away and stop the attack but were unsuccessful. A neighbor was able to shoot and kill the adult male black bear, officials said.

Sheriff's officials stated that bear attacks like this one are "exceedingly rare" and there didn't appear to be any obvious attractant that drew the bear to the area or attack the man.

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The North American black bear is the only bear species in Arizona, according to the National Park Service. 

According to the nonprofit Wise About Bears, which offers education resources about the animals, black bears are involved in fewer than one fatal attack a year.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Game and Fish Department said the last deadly bear attack in the state was in 2011.

For those who come in contact with a bear, the National Park Service says to "make yourself as large and imposing as possible" and "make loud noises" to scare the bear away. 

"Black bears usually avoid people yet if they start associating people with food, they may become aggressive," the Park Service says. 

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