Rio Rico bear may have to be put down - Tucson News Now

Rio Rico bear may have to be put down

Nuisance bear in Rio Rico (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department/YouTube) Nuisance bear in Rio Rico (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department/YouTube)
RIO RICO, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A bear which has been seen multiple times in a Rio Rico, Arizona neighborhood, may have to be put down.

The bear was captured and relocated in early November, but returned to the area this past week.

When a bear returns after being relocated, it is then considered a nuisance animal and procedures call for killing it to protect people.

The bear is a young male, about 250 pounds. Full gown black bears can reach 350 pounds.

It was spotted twice on November 18 in the 1000 block of Via Margarita which is a rural neighborhood west of Interstate 19.

"If we find him in the neighborhood we're probably going to have to tranquilize him or shoot him out right if it can be done safely," said Mark Hart, a spokesperson for Arizona Game and Fish. "Public safety is a real concern at this point."

Bear behavior is very unpredictable and there is concern residents may approach the bear to take photographs.

Hart says he believes the black bear is afraid of people and could be easily spooked.

"It could charge and attack," he said.

Residents in all of Rio Rico are being asked told to keep their garbage inside until pick-up day.

The bear has become habituated to garbage which is likely why it returned in just a week after being relocated. 

Guy Ruggiero lives in the neighborhood where the bear was last seen and is taking the threat seriously. 

When asked whether he approved of shooting the bear if its spotted he said "If it's for the benefit of people, then why not."

Ruggiero said there are children in the neighborhood and their well being is the most important thing,

Game and Fish officials say the bear's chance of survival depends on whether residents cooperate and deprive it of human food.

"If you get the garbage secured, the fruit off the trees, and get the bird feeders down he might just go back to Pena Blanca Lake, end of story. That's a good outcome," Hart said.

The bear was thought to have left the mountains during the warm October in search of water, not food, but ran into the garbage and got used to it very quickly.

"Once they get a taste of garbage, that's all they want," Hart said. "Not fruits and berries."

It's thought if the bear does not have garbage to feed on, it may voluntarily return to the mountains. 

MOBILE USERS: Download our app on your Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • ONLY ON KOLD: Restoring San Xavier Mission

    ONLY ON KOLD: Restoring San Xavier Mission

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 1:00 AM EDT2018-05-22 05:00:28 GMT
    Mission San Xavier del Bac (Source: Tucson News Now)Mission San Xavier del Bac (Source: Tucson News Now)

    SAN XAVIER MISSION (Tucson News Now) - A team of about 6 are hard at work at several projects at the San Xavier Mission.   For these workers, many look at doing the work as an honor. "It's very gratifying because we're preserving something that our ancestors built 220 years ago," said Timothy Lewis.   He's been working on different projects for almost 30 years.   He says when he's at work, nothing else matters. "You lose time," he sa...

    SAN XAVIER MISSION (Tucson News Now) - A team of about 6 are hard at work at several projects at the San Xavier Mission.   For these workers, many look at doing the work as an honor. "It's very gratifying because we're preserving something that our ancestors built 220 years ago," said Timothy Lewis.   He's been working on different projects for almost 30 years.   He says when he's at work, nothing else matters. "You lose time," he sa...

  • City Council to vote on contested Tucson park name change

    City Council to vote on contested Tucson park name change

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:57 AM EDT2018-05-22 04:57:57 GMT
    Renaming a midtown park. (Source: Tucson News Now)Renaming a midtown park. (Source: Tucson News Now)
    Renaming a midtown park. (Source: Tucson News Now)Renaming a midtown park. (Source: Tucson News Now)

    The playful place, so close by, has become the center of a fight - over a name. According to the agenda, Tucson's City Council will vote on Tuesday, May 22, whether or not to honor a slain police officer.

    The playful place, so close by, has become the center of a fight - over a name. According to the agenda, Tucson's City Council will vote on Tuesday, May 22, whether or not to honor a slain police officer.

  • breaking

    SILVER Alert issued for missing Tucson woman with Alzheimer's

    SILVER Alert issued for missing Tucson woman with Alzheimer's

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:29 AM EDT2018-05-22 04:29:19 GMT
    Mary Migatulski (Source: Tucson Police Department)Mary Migatulski (Source: Tucson Police Department)

    According to police, 83-year-old Mary Migatulski was last seen on foot in the 2500 block of Broken Arrow, near Ironwood Hills Drive and Shannon Road. 

    According to police, 83-year-old Mary Migatulski was last seen on foot in the 2500 block of Broken Arrow, near Ironwood Hills Drive and Shannon Road. 

Powered by Frankly