66-year-old Steven Jackson was mauled and killed by a black bear on Friday while enjoying his morning coffee. The attack, which took place in the Yavapai County area of Arizona, occurred in a heavily wooded area where Jackson was building a home. A Facebook post from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office states that deputies arrived at the scene around 7:50 in the morning, calling Arizona Game & Fish to respond as well.

“From multiple witness accounts and preliminary investigation of the scene, Mr. Jackson had been sitting having coffee at a table on his property where he was building a home. It appears that a male black bear attacked Mr. Jackson, taking him unaware, and dragged him approximately 75 feet down an embankment.” – Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office

Neighbors heard Jackson screaming and rushed to the scene, attempting to scare the bear off with shouts and car horns, but the animal wouldn’t budge. One neighbor was able to force the bear to disengage with the help of a rifle shot, but it was too late. The bear has been put down and is no longer a danger to the public.

According to Arizona Game & Fish, nothing on the scene appeared to have set off the incident, meaning the attack was likely predatory in nature. Only one other fatal predatory black bear attack has occurred since the mid 1980s, making this a highly rare incident.

“YCSO and Game and Fish caution people to not shoot bears that they see unless there is an imminent threat to you or someone else.”

Our thoughts are with the Jackson family in this incredibly sad time.

Image Credit: Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office via Facebook

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