Campers on Mt. Lemmon advised to be 'Bear Aware' - Tucson News Now

Campers on Mt. Lemmon advised to be 'Bear Aware'

Trash cans that were overturned early Friday morning by a bear. (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department) Trash cans that were overturned early Friday morning by a bear. (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
Paw prints of bear being sought. (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department) Paw prints of bear being sought. (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
MT. LEMMON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking Mt. Lemmon campers to be extra aware of bears this weekend, as a young bear has been spotted several times this summer. According to a recent release, it was spotted early Friday morning, Aug. 26, in the Organization Ridge area.

"This bear is apparently unafraid of people, which is cause of concern, and needs to be far removed from camping areas," said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson.  "A bear appearing relatively tame should never be approached, and definitely not fed."

The bear is not overly aggressive, but has followed hikers and attempted to enter a trailer with people inside, according to the release. AZGFD is attempting to trap the bear, which has also been spotted in the Willow and Rose Canyon areas. 

Black bears usually avoid people, but are attracted to human food and trash. Campers can be more "bear aware" by doing to 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.

Visitors who see a bear in the distance should change their route to avoid contact, and if approached by a bear need to discourage contact by looking as large and imposing as possible. Another way to discourage contact is by making loud noises and waving arms, a jacket, or another item. Lastly, give the bear a chance to leave the area.  

If the bear does not leave the area, AZGFD officials advise staying calm, face the bear and slowly back away, DO NOT run or play dead; if attacked, AZGFD officials say to fight back.  

Bear sightings should be reported immediately to AZGFD at (623) 236-7201, 24-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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