Bear Spotted In The East Valley

By Stina Sieg
Published: Monday, December 22, 2014 - 5:43pm
Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 10:16am
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A wild black bear is still on the loose in the East Valley after evading wildlife officials and police early Monday morning. The creature was last seen around the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, heading north.

The young, cinnamon-colored bear briefly shot to fame when TV helicopters caught images of him romping through alfalfa fields. Eventually, he disappeared through a hole in a fence.

Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesperson Amy Burnett arrived on the scene right after the bear escaped. She said her department only responds to a bear in the Valley once every two to three years.

"It’s not often that it happens, and it’s a great opportunity to talk to people about wildlife," she said. "And, you know, a big, beautiful, charismatic mammal like a black bear is always a great thing to be able to talk to Arizonan residents about."

One thing she wants to make clear to everyone: If you see the bear, estimated to weigh up to 120 pounds, don’t approach it. Call Game and Fish, which will relocate him to more bear-friendly surroundings. 

The bear was spotted again Tuesday morning near the Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport. Wildlife officials are still hoping to capture and relocate him.

Updated 12/23/2014 at 10:15 a.m.

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