Young bear spotted in Mesa; officials now believe it has returned to the wild

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department) (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
(Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department) (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A juvenile bear was spotted strolling through a Mesa neighborhood Thursday morning. 

The bear was seen near Power and Thomas roads just after 11 a.m.

Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) first received reports Wednesday night about this bear at Red Mountain Ranch Country Club in Mesa.

In a Facebook post, the department says:

"We do not consider this juvenile bear to be a public safety concern at this point. It has not shown any aggression and is staying away from people. Please use common sense. as always. If you see a bear, keep a safe distance. We are asking for first-hand reports of current sightings to our Dispatch office immediately. AZGFD is monitoring the situation."

AZGFD spokeswoman Amy Burnett has since said that tracks leading toward the Tonto National Forest indicate the young bear has returned to its home.

This is not the first time a bear has been spotted in Mesa. 

[RELATED: Black bear caught near school in Mesa neighborhood]

Back in 2013, a bear was seen wandering around the neighborhood of Adobe and Mountain roads, right next to Sousa Elementary School. That bear was tranquilized and released into a safe area in the Tonto National Forest. 

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