Arizona Game and Fish change their approach for relocating bear in Oro Valley

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 8:37 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Friday marks the third day in a row that a bear has been spotted near homes in Oro Valley.

Arizona Game and Fish officials have not been able to track it down.

It was first seen Wednesday at a home near Ina and Oracle roads. Then yesterday, it was spotted near Oracle and Linda Vista, more than three miles away. On Friday, it was spotted twice. The bear was at River and Campbell around 7:30 a.m. It made its way back to Ina and Oracle about an hour later.

Game and Fish says this bear is simply moving too fast, so they’re changing their approach.

“My wife saw the bear truck through our yard, right through this area here and head across the street,” Oro Valley resident Dan Washuk said.

His wife then followed the bear at a safe distance. When she saw it climb over their neighbor’s fence, she warned her neighbors that there was a bear in their backyard.

“We’ve been looking around when we go outside. I thought it might try to get into our garbage,” he said.

Arizona Game and Fish officials say the bear is going after garbage, and with trash pick-up day in parts of Oro Valley, it had a lot to choose from.

Game and Fish says the bear is constantly on the move, which is why it’s been nearly impossible for them to track down.

“We’re monitoring its movement and behavior, but unless it goes near a school, we’re not going to chase it anymore. Our hope is that it will be treed by a dog or somehow get confined in a backyard. We have to get within 30 yards to safely dart it,” Mark Hart said.

Hart says the bear still hasn’t done anything dangerous yet, but that could change. So if you see the bear in person, here’s what you should do:

“Stand your ground, wave your arms, yell, throw objects you may have on hand like a keychain, a backpack and try to get that bear to scare off,” he explained.

Hart says if they’re able to tranquilize the bear safely, one of the biggest challenges will be relocating it far enough away where it won’t come back and pick up where it left off.

The best-case scenario is that the bear will go back up the mountain on its own, but Game and Fish is doubtful that will happen because the bear has discovered trash as a reliable food source. So, a good reminder not to leave your trash out for pick up until the day of.

If you see the bear, you’re asked to call Game and Fish as soon as possible at 623-236-7201.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.