Bear euthanized after breaking into Payson home, AZ Game & Fish says

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(Source: Arizona Game & Fish) (Source: Arizona Game & Fish)
The bear knocked a desk on its side on the porch and pulled out the drawers. (Source: AZ Game & Fish) The bear knocked a desk on its side on the porch and pulled out the drawers. (Source: AZ Game & Fish)
The bear is on the back porch tipping a washing machine. (Source: AZ Game & Fish) The bear is on the back porch tipping a washing machine. (Source: AZ Game & Fish)
PAYSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Another bear in Arizona had to be put down since officials said he broke into a house in Payson.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department said workers had to euthanize the bear because of its aggressive behavior and lack of fear toward humans.

The agency said the bear was spotted at a home that Joseph Stapp was building on Tuesday evening, the third time the bear had been at that home. Apparently, the bear had gotten into a garbage can containing dog food several times earlier in the week. But this time the garbage can was inside the house.

Stapp was asleep at the time when he heard a loud crash on the porch. 

"I looked out the front door, and the bear and I were face to face,” said Stapp. “He was pushing on the door, and I was pushing back. I was not scared, but I couldn’t shoo him.”

Photos show the bear knocked a desk on its side on the porch and pulled out the drawers. He also tipped a washing machine, Game and Fish said.

A neighbor scared the bear that night by throwing rocks, but the bear returned later that night and again on Wednesday night.

When he did, he went inside Stapp's house so Stapp called 911. Wildlife officers live-trapped the bear, evaluated it and decided to euthanize it.

[RELATED: Be 'Bear Aware!' Wildlife officials warn bear activity increasing statewide]

Game and Fish said the drought is pushing bears toward neighborhoods.

“This season’s extremely dry conditions are making it difficult for bears to find natural food and water sources, increasing the chances of bears coming into neighborhoods,” wildlife manager Jarrod McFarlin said in a statement. 

This is the third bear to be euthanized in the past week.

On Sunday, officers removed a female bear that was feeding on large piles of food and water in Pinetop that a person left behind. It had to be put down since she was captured last year in the same area and relocated but then returned. She was with two cubs, who were safely located and transferred to Bearizona in Williams, Game and Fish said.

[RELATED: Bearizona rescues 2 orphaned bear cubs]

On Monday, a male bear was spotted in Anthem and caught but was labeled a "nuisance bear" because it had been previously been captured in the Prescott area 10 days earlier and wasn't afraid of humans.

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

The bears are looking for an easy meal and water. Arizona Game and Fish remind people not to feed the bears and remove "attractants" like bird seed, pet food, hummingbird feeders and trash from their yards.

[RELATED: AZ Game & Fish predicts more bears will visit the Phoenix area]

The agency said it is currently monitoring other bears in Show Low, Yarnell, Pinetop, Mesa and along the southern U.S. border. 

To report a bear sighting in an urban area or neighborhood, please contact your local AZGFD office or the department’s Radio Room at (623) 236-7201.

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