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Bear mauls 24-year-old man to death

A bear whose owner once staged wrestling shows featuring the animals has mauled a 24-year-old man to death in Ohio.

Brent Kandra was airlifted by helicopter to a Cleveland hospital but died there, said the local coroner's office on Friday.

The bear was contained in its cage after the attack.

The sheriff's office said the bear is owned by Sam Mazzola, who used to offer people the chance to wrestle a black bear at a Cleveland expo.

A rescue squad took Mazzola from the scene of the attack with an unspecified medical problem.

It wasn't clear whether the attack took place outside the cage or whether the bear had ever been used in wrestling shows.

The gate at Mazzola's property was closed with a no-trespassing sign. Three sheriff's deputies were posted nearby.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals four years ago made Mazzola a focus of its national efforts to ban bear wrestling and demanded that the US Department of Agriculture take away his licence to exhibit exotic animals.

Mazzola said at the time that bear wrestling had been part of his business, World Animal Studios Inc, for more than 20 years and that he had no intention of stopping.

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