/ Modified jun 21, 2023 10:29 a.m.

Bear that fatally attacked man at Arizona campsite didn't have rabies

The bear acted in what appeared to be an unprovoked predatory attack, Game and Fish officials said.

Black Bear spot

A bear that fatally attacked a 66-year-old Tucson man at a campsite in central Arizona last week tested negative for rabies and had no apparent signs of disease, authorities said Wednesday.

Anne Justice-Allen, the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s wildlife veterinarian conducted a necropsy on the carcass of the adult male black bear that killed Steven Jackson on Friday at his property about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Phoenix.

Jackson was killed in the Groom Creek area near Prescott.

The bear acted in what appeared to be an unprovoked predatory attack, Game and Fish officials said.

The cause of death was determined to be from multiple gunshot wounds from a neighbor who was trying to stop the attack. Authorities said it's illegal to shoot or hunt a bear in Arizona unless there is an immediate threat.

The bear’s brain stem was tested for rabies at the state Department of Health Services state laboratory. Arizona has recorded only one case of a bear having tested positive for rabies, in 1971.

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