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Game and Fish warns of bear trouble on Mount Lemmon

Posted at 10:06 AM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 01:41:22-04

Arizona Department of Game and Fish representatives say people had three recent close encounters with bears on Mount Lemmon.

A bear looked into an unoccupied cabin Friday near Summerhaven, while another bear swiped backpacks containing food from a camp near Arizona Trail and Red Ridge Trail Thursday and Friday.

"Those bears have clearly begun to associate the presence of people with food," said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson, in a statement. "We want campers to be especially bear aware this weekend."

Game and Fish reps say visitors should store food in bear-proof boxes provided at campgrounds. Those who see bears should not take photos or move closer. Instead, people should try to appear to be large and threatening in order to scare bears off.

Mark Hart with Arizona Game and Fish says a bear sighting was called in around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in the Sabino Canyon area near Skyline and Swan.

Hart says they received another call around 9 p.m. of another bear headed towards the La Paloma area.

Arizona Game and Fish urges anyone who sees a bear to call (623) 236-7201.