State officials caution about conditions attracting wildlife

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A bobcat stops at the watering hole at Cave Creek Regional Park (Source: Maricopa County) A bobcat stops at the watering hole at Cave Creek Regional Park (Source: Maricopa County)
PHOENIX (AP) -

An increase in urban wildlife sightings has state officials saying the public should help reduce problem encounters by eliminating things that attract wildlife into populated areas.

The Game and Fish Department says there's been the approach of summer with dry conditions returning statewide means several animals are moving closer to humans as they search for food and water.

The department advises against leaving small pets outside unattended. And it says animals are attracted by such things as overflowing garbage cans and dishes of pet food left on back porches.

According to the department, bears have been spotted in Tucson, Rio Rico, Patagonia, Payson and Flagstaff and at campgrounds along the Mogollon Rim. Meanwhile, mountain lions are being spotted in suburban neighborhoods and foxes have bitten two people.

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