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 (7654 Posts)


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Panthers clinch playoff berth with Homecoming win

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun The Superior football team may or may not have needed to win last Friday’s Homecoming game against Hayden to reach the State Playoffs.


    Jr. Panthers almost pull upset in playoffs

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun The Jr. Panthers football team reached the CJHL football playoffs after a win in their final game and some help from other teams.


    Lady Panthers post two wins last week

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    Superior Sun The Lady Panthers volleyball team won both matches it played last week, winning at Hayden (3 – 0) before defeating Miami at home, 3 – 0 (25-18, 25-17,


    SHS Student Council produces and directs a FABULOUS homecoming!

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    Last week the Superior Panthers had Hollywood on their minds as they celebrated their homecoming.


  • Stories Just For You

    Magma Hotel owner updates Chamber of Commerce; Skeptics, beware – the Magma Hotel is opening soon!

    October 22nd, 2014
    by

    On Wednesday, more than 100 business leaders and residents from throughout the community and region attended the monthly chamber luncheon to get an update on the


    Bearcats ready for playoffs after finale win

    October 21st, 2014
    by

    Copper Basin News The Ray football team ended its regular season with a road win last Friday night, defeating Arête Prep, 62 – 14.


    Dark water is the result of hydrant testing, Kearny says

    October 21st, 2014
    by

    Kearny residents were concerned this week when their tap water was coming out in shades of brown and black in some areas.


    Mammoth Library STEM Fair introduces kids to fun technology

    October 21st, 2014
    by

    San Manuel Miner On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, kids in Mammoth got to enjoy the S.T.E.M. Fair at the Mammoth Community Center.


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin