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Wildlife Officers urge caution after Bear sightings in Catalinas

Campers in the Catalina Mountains should be aware that a yearling bear has been sighted multiple times this summer, and people are advised to avoid approaching the animal, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The bear, while not overly aggressive, has followed hikers, attempted to enter an occupied trailer and was in the Organization Ridge area on Friday morning, Game and Fish reported in a news release. The agency is attempting to trap the bear, which was also recently seen in Willow and Rose canyons.

“This bear is apparently unafraid of people, which is a cause of concern, and needs to be far removed from camping areas,” said Raul Vega, regional supervisor of Game and Fish in Tucson. “A bear appearing relatively tame should never be approached, and definitely not fed.”

The agency offered this advice for people who encounter bears:

If bears are seen in the distance, visitors should change their route to avoid contact.
If approached by a bear, discourage contact by looking large and imposing, waving arms or jacket, making loud noises and giving the bear an opportunity to leave.
If it does not, stay calm, face the animal and slowly back away. Running should be avoided. If attacked, fight back.
Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@tucson.com or 573-4192.bearprint

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