Pesky bear forces campground closure in high country

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Coconino National Forest officials said they have closed the Rock Crossing campground due to problematic bear activity.

The campground is located off Forest Road 751 near Blue Ridge Reservoir.

Officials said a bear entered the campground Tuesday night damaging a camp trailer. 

The campground will remain closed until Arizona Game and Fish Department personnel are able to capture the bear.

"In light of the bear sightings and what has happened over the past couple of years, we feel it's necessary to close this campground in order to ensure the safety of the public," said Mogollon Rim District Ranger Linda Wadleigh. "Rock Crossing campground will be closed until we feel it's safe for campers to once again use the campground."

In 2012, the Tonto National Forest closed several campgrounds in the area around Payson due to bear attacks.

Officials said bear sightings are common in high elevation areas where food from campers is plentiful.

They said some bears that are removed are simply relocated.

But, if a bear is considered too dangerous, or has lost its fear of people, it will likely be euthanized.

To learn more about what to do if you encounter a bear, click here.

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