Residents of the Red Mountain Ranch neighborhood spotted a black bear crossing streets and wandering through the neighborhood.
Arizona Game and Fish

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is using a video showing an adult black bear chasing down then appearing to maul a cub to educate the public about the challenges in moving stray bears. 

“We can’t just release nuisance bears into the woods,” the agency said on a Facebook post. “One big reason is that release site might be in the territory of an older, larger bear.”

In the video, recorded in June in southeast Arizona at Mount Graham in the Coronado National Forest and released Monday, a cub is chased into a tree and caught by an adult black bear. The adult pulls the cub into its mouth and then mauls the cub.

“The adult bear is likely a male, for which breeding is most important,” the Arizona Game and Fish Department said. “. Even a potential future threat to mating is perceived as a real threat immediately.”

Earlier this year, several black bears were spotted in the Valley, including three in one week.

In May, a young black bear was spotted roaming through a northeast Mesa neighborhood near the Red Mountain Ranch golf course at Power and Thomas roads.

Landen Woodward, 39, said the bear “was almost going door to door like a salesman.”

MORE: Officials: Black bear spotted near Tucson-area youth camp caught and relocated

The bear was believed to have gone back to the National Tonto Forest, which borders the outskirts of east Mesa, agency officials said at the time..

Also in May, a different black bear was spotted near a Payson home displaying “aggressive” behavior and was euthanized by officials.

Toward the end of May, a bear that was previously captured and relocated in Prescott, was spotted strutting 40 miles south on the streets of Anthem. Officials were forced to euthanize the bear because it was considered a threat because it had twice returned to populated areas.

AGFD officials said in May then-dry conditions likely were contributing to the recent bear sightings.


A bear walks down the street in an Anthem neighborhood on May 28, 2018.
Courtesy of Mia Kruk

 A large portion of northeastern Arizona is facing “exceptional drought,” with the majority of the rest of the state designated as “extreme” or “moderate,” according to a May 17 report from the U.S. Drought Monitor. This forces wildlife into human areas in search of food or water. 

MORE: Officials: Black bear spotted near Tucson-area youth camp caught and relocated

Back in 2014, arguably the most ecstatic bear spotting in recent years was captured on video.

The black bear was spotted in east Mesa several days before Christmas. The bear captured the Valley’s imagination, even earning its own Twitter account, especially after footage of the bear taken from a helicopter showed it running full speed through fields, dodging officials’ attepts to stop it with a tranquillizer gun.

The bear was caught Christmas morning and safely moved into the Tonto National Forest.


Ted Bumstead often comes across wildlife while he’s on patrol in Yavapai County. But usually, it’s too late to help. This time was different.





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