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Alaska man killed by bear in first mauling in state this year

By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A Fairbanks man was killed in what appears to be the first fatal bear mauling in the state this year, the Alaska State Troopers said on Friday.

Robert Weaver, 64, was found dead Thursday night outside a remote lake cabin near Delta Junction, a town about 90 miles southeast of Fairbanks, the troopers said, adding it was unclear what kind of bear had mauled him.

An officer investigating the death shot and killed a black bear that wandered onto the scene, but it is not immediately clear whether it was the same animal that attacked Weaver, the troopers said.

An investigation is underway, said trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters. An autopsy and necropsy may provide answers about what type of bear was involved, she said.

The site of the attack, George Lake, is a sport-fishing destination southeast of Delta Junction known for its abundant northern pike. Weaver was the owner of a Fairbanks company called George Lake Recreation Rentals.

A second person, who was found hiding in the cabin when emergency workers arrived at the scene, witnessed the attack but has not yet been interviewed. The person "had a pretty traumatic experience," Peters said in an email.

Alaska authorities said this was the first fatal bear mauling in the state this year.

The last fatal bear attack in Alaska occurred in Denali National Park last August 24, when a brown bear mauled a backpacker.

(Edited by Edith Honan and Philip Barbara)

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