June 21, 2023

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s (AZGFD) wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Anne Justice-Allen, conducted a necropsy on the carcass of the adult male black bear responsible for the June 16 killing of Steven Jackson at his property in the Groom Creek area near Prescott, Ariz. 

Dr. Justice-Allen’s summary indicated the bear was a 7- to 10-year-old adult male weighing 365 pounds. It was in good condition with no apparent signs of disease.

An examination of the stomach found human remains consistent with the injuries found in the victim. Additionally, native vegetation and seeds were found inside the bear. The amount of body fat on the bear indicated it was in good nutritional condition.  

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

Cause of death of the bear was determined to be from multiple gunshot wounds from a neighbor who was trying to stop the attack. 

AZGFD officials believe this bear acted in what appeared to be an unprovoked predatory attack by the animal. Bears are predators, and when acting aggressively toward humans can attack, injure and kill.

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