AZ Game & Fish predicts more bears will visit the Phoenix area

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Officials expect more bears to come to the Valley, blaming the drought for limiting the resources in their natural habitat. (Source: AZ Game & Fish) Officials expect more bears to come to the Valley, blaming the drought for limiting the resources in their natural habitat. (Source: AZ Game & Fish)
Experts are not surprised to see two black bears in less than two weeks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Experts are not surprised to see two black bears in less than two weeks. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
To prevent more wildlife from making their way to the Valley, Game and Fish have placed and filled 1,000 water catchment basins across the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) To prevent more wildlife from making their way to the Valley, Game and Fish have placed and filled 1,000 water catchment basins across the state. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Amy Burnett stresses do not offer food or water to the bears, intentionally or unintentionally. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Amy Burnett stresses do not offer food or water to the bears, intentionally or unintentionally. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is standing by its decision to euthanize a bear seen roaming around an Anthem neighborhood.

"We are doing this for human and public safety," said Amy Burnett, spokeswoman for Arizona Game and Fish. "It's absolutely not done lightly and we do not like putting animals down."

In this case, the bear had been caught in a Prescott neighborhood days before.

[READ MORE: Game and Fish euthanized 'nuisance bear' spotted in Anthem Monday]

On Tuesday, officials also warn it's not the last bear we'll see visit the Valley this summer. They expect more to come, blaming the drought for limiting the resources in their natural habitat.

"A lot of bears are roaming further, searching for resources, food and water," said Burnett.

She's not surprised to see two black bears in less than two weeks.

"We predict that there will be more bears in the summer than previous summers," said Burnett.

[RELATED: Young bear spotted in Mesa; officials now believe it has returned to the wild]

[RELATED: Bear spotted in suburban Phoenix neighborhood]

Burnett also explained that this also has to do with mating season. Cubs usually only stick with their mom for 18 months.

"The mother bear is kicking the young out in preparation to get ready to mate again," said Burnett. "Right now, we're seeing young bears being forced out of their territory."

She added, "They need to find their own territory and in doing so, they're having a hard time finding resources and that's why they're roaming further than they would normally and sometimes they get lost and end up in the Valley before they make their way back."

"The best thing people can do is just stay a far distance," she said.

[VIEWER VIDEO: Woman spots bear in Anthem front yard]

Once bears get comfortable around humans, it becomes a "death sentence."

Burnett stresses do not offer food or water to the bears, intentionally or unintentionally. That means keeping trash tucked away until the last minute or dog bowls inside the house.

"Bears can get aggressive. Bears are very powerful animals," she said. "It's more dangerous because it's a bear that's used to people. It'll let you get closer but it'll defend itself if people get too close."

To prevent more wildlife from making their way to the Valley, Game and Fish have placed and filled 1,000 water catchment basins across the state. New ones are built each year.

However, sometimes it's not enough.

Some have asked why not tranquilize the bear and take it to a wildlife park like Bearizona.

Arizona's Family checked in with spokesman Dave O'Connell.

"We wouldn't have been able to take the bear at this time," said O'Connell. "We are at our capacity of what we would like to be at. The bears here have a lot of space and we'd like to keep them with a lot of space."

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