Officials Warn: Arizonans Should Keep Eye Out for Bears Up North

With the temperatures slowly climbing in Phoenix this week, valley residents may have plans to head north to escape the heat.

But there is an official warning! Keep an eye out for bears!

Diane Tilton with Arizona’s Game and Fish Department said that bears will be active in northern Arizona all summer. Though the chances of spotting one is slim, it is an important warning to all.

“(There’s) probably a less chance to not see one than to see one, but they’re there,” she said.

“We like (bears) to come through, we know that they’re going to be there, but we don’t want them staying, especially near populated areas.”

In order to avoid attracting bears, Tilton advises campers and all residents up north to clean up their food stashes.

“That’s really what they’re coming for,” she said. “At the end of the day, when you leave camp, (clean up) not only the food in your cooler, but the food in the trailer, in the back of the truck, locked in the vehicle.

“Like us, when they’re hungry, they want to eat and will take the path of least resistance.”

Northern Arizona has only recorded one fatal bear attack, which occurred in the Pinetop area in 2011, Tilton said officials want to make sure that doesn’t happen again and offer reminders to help keep the bears at bay.

“We want to make sure not only humans, but the bears, are doing well.”

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