Game and Fish Asks Public to Be Bear Aware; First Black Bears of the Season Already Sighted

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking for the public to be “black bear aware” following the first sightings of the season near the Peppersauce Campground and on Ft. Huachuca.

A black bear was sighted within 100 feet of the campground approximately 7 p.m. Sunday, February 16.  The campers abandoned the camp and reported the sighting.   In addition, a hunter reported sighting a female bear and cub on Ft. Huachuca in January.

Bears have been observed sporadically during the winter months in southeastern Arizona, suggesting that warmer weather may have shortened annual hibernations, from which black bears typically emerge in March, usually males before females.

In addition, consecutive dry winters and intermittent seasonal rains, coupled withlingering environmental impacts from the Monument and Horseshoe Two fires, suggest that there may be more cases of bears visiting residential areas this year.

“Bears in search of food are often attracted to homes and into proximity with people. This close contact puts both humans and bears at risk. Most conflicts are the result of people unintentionally feeding bears, most often by allowing them access to household garbage, bird feeders, garden areas or trees bearing fruit,” said Regional  Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson. “Fed bears can lose their fear of humans and begin to associate humans with food, sometimes causing property damage and even injuring people. But conflicts between humans and bears are preventable.”

Since garbage stored outside is the biggest attractant, storing garbage in a secure garage or shed until the morning of collection will virtually eliminate the chances of a bear visit. If a bear does not find a food source, it will move on. Campers should never take food into a tent, use deodorizing sprays if storing food in cars when a bear-proof box is not available  on-site, and clean themselves off thoroughly after cooking as well as change clothes afterward that may have lingering odors.

Fences, lighting and dogs have not been found to be effective, long-term deterrents when foods are available. Bears are good climbers, so to reduce a bear’s ability to get over a fence, it should be at least six feet tall and constructed of non-climbable material.

Recognizing the potential risk to both humans and bears, the Arizona Game and Fish Department spends considerable time and money each year relocating bears. Unfortunately, this effort does little for the bears or homeowners. Some bears must be destroyed because they are considered too dangerous, have lost their fear of humans, or continue to get into conflicts with people.

Following removal or relocation, the homeowner might experience more problems from a different bear if the identified attractant is not eliminated. Relocating a bear is also traumatic for the animal and does not guarantee it will live. Some are killed by larger, older bears that have established territory in an area.

If a bear is in your yard or neighborhood or campground and refuses to leave, immediately contact the Game and Fish office at 520-628-5376 or at 1-800-352-0700 evenings, weekend and holidays. Depending on what the bear is doing, department personnel may respond if it remains in the area.

If you see a bear in the distance, alter your route to avoid it. On the rare occasion that a bear approaches you, discourage it by:
• Making yourself as large and imposing as possible. Stand upright and wave your arms, jacket or other items, and make loud noises.
• Do not run and never play dead.
• Give the bear a chance to leave the area.
• If the bear does not leave, stay calm, continue facing it, and slowly back away.

The black bear is the only bear species found in the state. Although fur color varies and includes brown, cinnamon and blond, they are all considered black bears. It is the smallest and most widely distributed North American bear. Black bears:
•        Weigh 125-400 pounds with males being larger than females
•        Are three- to three-and-a-half feet tall when on all four feet
•        Eat primarily acorns, berries, insects and cactus fruits
•        Live in most forest, woodland and chaparral habitats, and desert riparian areas
•        Roam an area of 7 to 15 square miles
•        Produce two to three cubs born in January or February
•        Live up to 25 years in the wild,
•        Most active between dawn and dusk.

Bears are classified as big game animals in Arizona and are protected by state law. It is unlawful to feed wildlife, including bears, in Pima and Cochise counties. Violations can result in a fines ranging from $300 in Pima County to $2,500 in Cochise of up to $300.

admin (7655 Posts)


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Support the American Red Cross and become an everyday hero March is Red Cross Month

    19 hours ago
    by

    TUCSON— In honor of Red Cross Month in March, the American Red Cross encourages people to uncover their inner hero […]


    March 3rd Marks the Celebration of U.S. Navy Reserve’s 100th Anniversary

    19 hours ago
    by

    Washington DC, – The Navy Reserve will mark its centennial anniversary on Tuesday, March 3rd with a series of events […]


    Gaspard de la Nuit at Desert View Performing Arts Center

    February 25th, 2015
    by

    On Sunday, March 1, at 3 p.m., join The Oracle Piano Society for Picturing Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit, A Musical Soliloquy at SaddleBrooke II, 39900 S.


    Documentary film ‘Power’s War’ completed

    February 25th, 2015
    by

    Pinal Nugget On Feb. 15, 1918 the Graham Guardian newspaper’s headline said “OFFICERS KILLED IN BATTLE WITH SLACKERS”.


  • Stories Just For You

    Town of Superior fire truck renovation begins

    February 24th, 2015
    by

    Superior Sun In November 2014 Henry Munoz presented the Superior Town Council with a proposal to renovate the 1947 Pierce Fire Truck as a representation and honor to the past


    Legends of Superior Trail Fest attracts outdoor enthusiasts

    February 24th, 2015
    by

    The Legends of Superior Trail Committee along with their partners Resolution Copper, Arizona Trail Association and the Superior Optimist Club hosted the fourth annual Legends of Superior Trail Fest on Saturday.


    Reflections from a cowboy’s mother

    February 24th, 2015
    by

    Special to the Copper Basin News The following are from a Mom’s point of view and not necessarily the thoughts of the Cowboy.


    CPR class held in Dudleyville

    February 24th, 2015
    by

    Copper Area News On Saturday, Feb. 7 a CPR training class was held in Dudleyville.


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin