The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking that people stay aware and safe from potentially harmful black bears.
Bears are coming out from hibernation and are looking for food, black bears are attracted to houses that have easy to reach garbage, bird feeders, garden or fruit trees.
Although, it is illegal to feed black bears (fines can be from $300-$2,500) feeding them can cause a much worse consequence. Bears that have been fed will slowly start to lose fear for humans and it will be easier for them to approach them and "associate humans with food."
Some tips to keep yourself safe:
- Build a fence or wall six feet or taller and made from "non-claimable material"
- Stand straight and tall. Wave your hands and arms or any other item you may be holding.
- Don't run and do not play dead.
- Give the bear a chance to leave the perimeter
- If the bear has not left, remain calm and slowly start to back away.
If a bear refuses to leave your yard you may contact Game and Fish at 623-236-7201. Open 24 hours a day.