AZ campground reopens after bear attack

Posted: Updated:
Area reopens Area reopens
Entrance to the campground Entrance to the campground
The bear trap had been erected here The bear trap had been erected here

A Northern Arizona campground where a bear attacked a woman this month has reopened.

Tonto National Forest officials said there have been no signs of the bear returning to the Ponderosa Campground following the May 31 attack. The campground is just off Highway 260 about 10 miles east of Payson.

A 74-year-old woman awoke in her tent to a bear clawing at her. Officials said after tearing open the tent, the bear reportedly stuck its head in and clawed at the woman. She had bruises and a laceration on her scalp.

The bear they have been looking for is considered a category one bear, which means it is aggressive enough to be destroyed if it is found or captured, said Game and Fish Wildlife Manager Jarrod McFarlin.

Arizona Game and Fish officials said the strategies they employed to catch the animal did not work. They cautioned the public there have been more bear sightings reported this year because of the ongoing drought.  

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