The Arizona Game and Fish Department has received several calls about bear sightings in the Madera Canyon recreation area since late June. The most recent was Monday.
Mark Hart, public information officer for the department, said there is a yearling in the area and possibly four other bears, including a large black-colored bear and a smaller brown-colored bear.
“What we watch for, but have not seen at Madera, is aggressive behavior,” Hart said. “Examples would include a bluff charge, standing on hind legs or huffing.”
“We ask hikers and picnickers to make loud noises, stand tall, wave arms and throw non-lethal objects to deter bears. They also should face forward, and back away slowly if the bear fails to break off its approach,” he said.
“They should also secure food and garbage in a bear box or a dumpster with the lid shut tight,” he said.