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Oct 31, 2012 4:45 PM by Sarah Sanchez

Multiple bear sightings reported in Huachuca City

HUCACHUCA CITY - Game and Fish officials are on the lookout for another bear in Huachuca City.

According to Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesperson Mark Hart, they received several calls over the weekend from people who reported seeing a black bear.

Sightings were even reported by both officials with the Cochise County Sheriff's Office and Huachuca City Police Department.

The bear was seen wandering around the Babocamari River and in the 500 block of Pima. Hart said the first report was from a resident who reported the bear was in a tree in their backyard.

Game and Fish officials believe the bear was previously relocated from the Sierra Vista area to the Palancio Mountains, which are on the Arizona-New Mexico state line.

If it is the same bear, Hart says he would have travelled about 70 miles back to the Huachucas.
They say the bear have a tag hanging from its ear, and describes it as an adolescent male who is relatively unafraid of people.

Hart also says Game and Fish receives one bear sighting call almost every day.

Earlier this week, News 4 Tucson talked to Game and Fish about the threat of bears in the Sierra Vista to trick-or-treaters this Halloween.

Dry winters and wildfires have led to a meager food source which is pushing the bears out of the Huachuca Mountains and into the surrounding cities in search of an easy meal. Bears aren't only going to be attracted to unsecured trash cans or bird feeders but the Halloween jack-o-lanterns as well.

"The pumpkin specifically is a great food source; it's been proven in the past," said Brad Fulk, with the AZGFD. "We've had issues with bears during the Halloween season being attracted to those food sources."

With it already being such an active bear year, officials are asking that you keep the pumpkins inside on the window sill to avoid more human and bear interaction. It's also important to remain bear aware as you head out to do your trick or treating. "Have a realistic approach and know that we are having bears down low in neighborhoods," urges Fulk.

Other preventative measures that need to be taken to avoid more bear sightings include keeping your garbage can locked up until the day of pick up, bringing in the bird feeders at night and removing any outdoor pet food. Anyone who is knowingly attracting or feeding wildlife such as bears, javelina or coyotes could wind up with a $2,500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Pictured: A bear up a tree near Sierra Vista that was caught on camera earlier this year.

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