MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. — Mojave County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning Wednesday, stating that black bears have been sighted on two separate occasions wandering around the town of Desert Springs in the Arizona Strip.
Arizona Game and Fish officials are aware of the sightings, and are attempting to locate the bears, according to a press statement. The Mojave County Sheriff’s Office is also checking the area.
The Sheriff’s Office recommends the following tips:
- Never feed or approach a bear.
- Remain calm if you encounter a bear. Do not run from it.
- Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands or making other noises.
- Make sure the bear has an escape route.
- If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open.
- Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived as a challenge. Never run from a bear, instead, slowly back away.
- To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans or using an airhorn. Make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms. If you are with someone else, stand close together with your arms raised above your head.
- The bear may utter a series of huffs, make popping jaw sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact and do not run.
- If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect scents in the air. It is usually not threatening behavior.
- Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or while attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact, then back away.
- If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.
See more tips on safety with bear encounters here: Prevent unwanted black bear encounters, tips to stay safe
- Utah Division of Wildlife Resources tips on how to stay safe if you encounter a bear while hiking
- Wild Aware Utah also provides bear safety information, which you can find here
- More black bears in Utah means more conflicts; new hunting opportunities
- Utah man killed by bear attack in Wyoming