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Black bear that killed AZ man was healthy, exam shows

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. 

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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.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.