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Autopsy rules death of area man not caused by bear scare

The investigation into the incident indicates that on July 6, the man, while attempting to scare a bear away from his yard, was charged by another bear and thrown into the air, landing on the ground. There were no external visible injuries to the victim from the incident. Photo Illustration

PINE RIVER—The Cass County Sheriff's Office is investigating a death of a 70-year-old man who had an encounter with a bear before having a medical issue.

The sheriff's office was called at 10:49 p.m. Sunday, July 8, to a medical situation in Ponto Lake Township, near Lake Ada in rural Pine River. The Pine River Fire and Rescue, North Memorial Ambulance and deputies arrived on scene and learned the man was complaining of stomach pain. He was treated on scene and transported to a Fargo Hospital by North Memorial Air Care.

The investigation into the incident indicates that on July 6, the man, while attempting to scare a bear away from his yard, was charged by another bear and thrown into the air, landing on the ground. There were no external visible injuries to the victim from the incident.

The sheriff's office was notified July 9 that the man died at the Fargo, ND, hospital. A preliminary autopsy was conducted at the Cass County North Dakota Medical Examiner's Office with the University of North Dakota Forensic Pathology and Autopsy Services. The preliminary report indicates the bear did not cause the death of the victim.

There were no injuries or wounds discovered during the autopsy. The incident remains under investigation by the Cass County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation.