TUCSON, Ariz. (KSAZ) - The welcome sign is out at Bearizona in Williams after a baby bear got a little too close for comfort on Mount Lemmon in Tucson. The bear had been spotted several times by people, so the Arizona Game and Fish Department had to step in and trap it -- for the bear's safety and ours.
Arizona Game and Fish tells us at least eight people have called in sightings of the bear since May of this year. The bear has followed hikers and got a little too close for comfort, and Amy Burnett with game and fish says those encounters are often the fault of others who have encouraged that behavior.
"It's really important that we keep these bears wild," she said. Anything that we think may be cute; getting a picture, could actually compromise its life."
Although she's not sure exactly how this bear got so comfortable, she says because it's young its fate is much different.
"An adult bear that's learned how to associate people with food is a dangerous bear and that doesn't always have a happy ending," she said. "We were lucky in this case that it was a young bear, we were able to place it Bearizona. Happy ending for everybody."
Arizona Game and Fish wants to remind everyone that if you see a bear in a camping area, do not feed it. Keep a safe distance and report the sighting to game and fish.