A wild black bear ate nearly all of a Northern California man’s body, according to reports. Officials say the man likely died earlier of a heart attack.
The NY Daily News reports that Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Roy Horton said he believes 65-year-old Marion Williams died outside his trailer in a remote area before the bear came upon him. Authorities found the pieces of the man’s body after he was reported missing by a friend. The friend says that Williams had been missing for five days. The man’s friends became concerned about Horton on October 11 and called the sheriff’s department. Officers visited Williams’ property and could smell the decaying body, Horton said.
Though the man was likely dead when the bear came upon his body, officials still attempted to trap and kill the bear. However, their attempt was called off as it is doubtful the bear is still in the area near the man’s home in Redway, about 75 miles south of Humboldt, California, the Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan said.
“We’re not going to find the bear. The bear was behaving naturally.”
According to WNCY, the black bear was bedding just feet from a water source and must have saw or smelled the body and dragged Williams away, according to Horton.
“The bear saw the opportunity for a food source and took advantage of it. The bear stripped Williams out of his clothes and necklace, feeding on him for several days. The bear did eat most of this guy. He was about 85 percent consumed.”
An investigation into the possible attack revealed no signs that the bear came after or killed Williams. Instead, Horton said that he believes the bear came upon the man’s already dead body and dragged it to a nearby den for consumption.
“It looks like he collapsed and died. The bear comes along and sees a potential food source.”
There are no reported cases in California of black bears killing people, Hughan noted.
Though black bears do not typically attack humans, grizzly bears have been known to start a fight. A Canadian man was attacked by a grizzly bear earlier this month and lived to tell his harrowing tale. Not only did the man survive the bear attack, he also survived being shot by his friend who was trying to shoot the bear.
What do you think should be done about the black bear that consumed the California man’s body? Do you agree with authorities that the bear should be trapped and killed, or do you agree with Horton that the bear is not a danger to society?