TUCSON, Ariz. –-(Ammoland.com)- The Arizona Game and Fish Department on Friday captured a yearling black bear that was posing a public safety risk. After being captured, it was safely transported to Bearizona in Williams.
The bear, which had apparently lost its fear of people, was sighted on Mt. Lemmon eight times since late May. Since then, it began following hikers and attempted to enter an occupied cabin. It also frequented the Organization Ridge area.
“We are fortunate to have found a new home for her,” said AZGFD Region 5 Supervisor Raul Vega. “That rarely is possible with common species like black bears. So this story has a happy ending, but it could have gone another way. Young bears that seem dangerous grow up to be large bears that are aggressive.”
Black bears usually avoid people, but are attracted to human food and trash. Campers are asked to be “bear aware” by doing the following:
- Keeping a clean camp or picnic site.
- Stowing food, pet food, trash and picnic coolers out of sight and out of smell range of bears.
- Utilizing bear-proof food and trash receptacles where provided.
- Washing and stowing cooking utensils immediately following use.
- Not taking odorous items (toothpaste, lotions, etc.) or clothing used while cooking into tents.
- Keeping pets leashed.
- Avoiding contact with bears.
If bears are seen in the distance, it is advisable for visitors to change their route to avoid contact. If approached by a bear, discourage contact by looking large and imposing, waving arms or jacket, making loud noises and giving the bear an opportunity to leave the area.
If it does not leave, stay calm, face the animal and slowly back away. Running should be avoided. Bear sightings should be reported immediately to AZGFD at 623-236-7201, 24-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.