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Man attacked by bear, dies of apparent unrelated causes days later

A preliminary autopsy says the bear didn't cause his death.

Investigators are waiting to find out how a Cass County man died days after he was thrown into the air by a charging bear.

The 70-year-old man from Ponto Lake Township, in rural Pine River, was airlifted to a Fargo hospital on Sunday after complaining of stomach pain.

He died the next day at the hospital.

Subsequent investigation revealed that a few days earlier, on Friday, July 6, the man had found a bear in his yard and, while attempting to scare it away, was charged by another bear.

He was thrown in the air and landed on the ground, though had "no external visible injuries" from the incident.

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But the mystery surrounding his death deepened when a preliminary autopsy conducted by the Cass County North Dakota Medical Examiner's Office indicated that the bear attack was NOT what killed him.

"The preliminary report indicates that the bear did not cause the death of the victim," the Cass County Sheriff's Office said in a news release on Thursday.

"There were no injuries or wounds discovered during the autopsy."

The incident remains under investigation by the Cass County Sheriff and the Minnesota DNR.

The Animal Humane Society suggests that when confronted with a black bear, you should stand and face them directly, never running away or approaching it.

You should also make yourself look as big as possible by spreading your arms, and make noise to try and scare it off. If a black bear does attack, you should fight back (don't play dead).

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