A man is believed to have taken his own life after he accidentally shot dead his brother while attempting to kill a bear.
Police said the man picked up his gun to protect himself from a black bear near his home in Oregon, but instead of shooting the animal he fatally shot his brother.
The man called cops and told them he had ‘accidentally shot his brother while loading a gun’ that he planned to use on the bear.
But when officers arrived at the property in Sunny Valley, they found two men dead.
In a statement Josephine County Sheriff's Office said: “Based upon the investigation, it is believed the caller took his own life after calling 911 to report the accidental shooting.”
As yet, neither man has been identified and the investigation is ongoing and has been passed to the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.
There are around 25,000 to 30,000 black bears in the state of Oregon.
The Josephine County Parks Department said bear attacks are ‘uncommon’ as the animals tend to ‘avoid human contact’, but warns the public that it’s ‘never safe to approach a bear’.
If you do come into contact with a bear, the Park Department recommends that you ‘stay calm’.
It adds: “Do not run or make any sudden movements. Back away slowly as you face the bear. Avoid direct eye contact with the bear.”
It recommends people ‘give any bear a way to escape’ and to avoid eye contact.
It goes on: “In the unlikely event you are attacked, fight back. Shout, be aggressive, use rocks, sticks and [your] hands to fend off an attack.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing feelings of isolation and distress or thoughts of suicide, The Samaritans are on hand to help you through the most difficult times.
You can call them in confidence on 116 123, email [email protected], or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
You can also call MIND on 0300 123 3393 or CALM on 0800 58 58 58.
In the USA, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you or someone you know is in need of mental health assistance urgently.
The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Topics: US News