Monday, June 25, 2012

Two More Bear Attacks Near Payson

An unidentified Tempe man is at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn after a bear attacked him in his tent at Ponderosa Campground near Payson. The man received severe but not life-threatening injuries.

The bear went to a neighboring campsite where a camper shot the animal several times with a handgun.

The Arizona Republic reports that Game and Fish officers tracked the bear but did not find a blood trail. The bear was also tracked by two packs of dogs and a DPs helicopter.

On Friday, a bear attacked a Glendale resident who was sleeping in a cabin under construction near Payson.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department says the rash of recent attacks has occurred because the animals are hungry. This is the 19th year of a drought, and low moisture this winter has resulted in the growth of very little food for the bears to eat.

This is the second time in recent weeks that the Ponderosa Campground has been closed due to a bear attack. Last month a bear attacked a woman about a mile south of Friday’s incident. It is not known if all three attacks were by the same bear.

The Sharp Creek and Christopher Creek campgrounds are also closed temporarily to protect the public.

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