Humboldt County, California, authorities say that a black bear ate the body of a 65-year-old man who had died of a heart attack.
According to the Daily Mail, authorities do not believe the black bear attacked 65-year-old Marion Williams; instead, they believe he collapsed and died of a heart attack near his property in a densely-wooded, remote part of California. Authorities believe that eventually a black bear found his body and dragged it back to his den. Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Roy Horton said, via KFSN, that this is definitely not a case of a bear attack.
“It looks like [Williams] collapsed and died. The bear comes along and sees a potential food source.”
The bear ate most of the man’s body, and he was identified via fingerprints, his dentures, and a piece of clothing.
“The bear did eat most of this guy. He was about 85 percent consumed.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife did consider tracking and euthanizing the black bear, according to spokesman Andrew Hughan. However, it’s likely the bear has long since moved on to other territory. Further, there’s no point.
“The bear does not pose a public threat. It was just doing what bears do. We’re not going to find the bear. The bear was behaving naturally”
Mr. Williams lived alone and “off the grid” in a trailer in the thick woods of Northern California, near the town of Briceland. He had last been seen on October 8, but he wasn’t reported missing for several days because he mostly kept to himself. Eventually friends reported him missing and found his body.
According to KFSN, there are no reports of black bears attacking and killing a person in the history of California. Earlier this month, however, a black bear (which was apparently provoked) attacked and killed a hiker in New Jersey, according to this Inquisitr report. It was the first recorded black bear fatality in New Jersey since 1852.
The Center For Wildlife Information, via their Be Bear Aware program, says that black bears (and bears in general) will usually shy away from humans unless they feel threatened or provoked. However, bears that have been fed by humans will eventually lose their fear, making them dangerous. If you are in the vicinity of a bear, you should make loud noises and try to make yourself as threatening to the animal as possible.
[Image courtesy of: First People]