Closure at Ponderosa Campground lifted

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PAYSON, Ariz. -- Tonto National Forest officials have lifted a temporary closure that was put into place following a May 31 bear attack at the Ponderosa Campground.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department said that people should still be cautious if they plan on camping in the area, as the ongoing drought has led to increased bear sightings.

A 74-year-old woman and her husband were camping at the Ponderosa Campground on the morning of May 31 when a bear ripped a hole in their tent.

The bear clawed the woman, leaving her with bruises and a laceration on her scalp.

Officials decided to close the area for public safety while they searched for the bear.

Several different strategies to capture the bear failed, but there have been no signs of the animal returning to the area.

For more information about wildlife in the Tonto National Forest call the Arizona Game and Fish Mesa Office at 480-981-9400.