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Rose Canyon closed due to black bear sightings

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 20:31:38-04

Rose Canyon in Mount Lemmon is temporarily closed due to a black bear sighting. 

Preston Otte went camping Saturday at Rose Canyon with his wife and two children. He says the next morning, they had a visitor.

"At about 5:15 something catches my eye and sure enough there is a big black bear like 75 yards from our tent," said Otte. 



Arizona Game and Fish's Mark Hart says minutes before that, another camper woke up to his trailer shaking. 

"When he looked out the window he was in his words eye ball to eye ball with the bear," explained Hart.

He believes this is a large male bear weighing about 200 pounds. 

Rose Canyon Campground and 300 feet from the lake are temporarily closed until Friday.

"The biggest problem we have right now is enforcing the federal closure order," said Hart. "We can't trap and assess the bear if people keep going in there, they will stay away. if you go in there you are not only risking your life, you are violating the law. Penalties are up to 6 months in jail and a $5,000 fine." 



The department has a trap with produce set up to catch the bear.

Hart advises campers to secure their food, use a locking bear box, and never bring food in a tent. 

Hart says if you do see a bear, call (623) 236-7201.