Game and Fish euthanized 'nuisance bear' spotted in Anthem Monday

A young bear was seen in Anthem Monday. (Source: Karen Dill)

The Arizona Game and Fish Department confirmed that it has euthanized a bear spotted in Anthem Sunday night and Monday morning.

In less than two weeks, two different bears have been spotted in two very different locations around the Valley. The first one was seen on May 17 near Power and Thomas Roads in Mesa. The second was Monday morning off Anthem Way and Galvin Peak Parkway in Anthem.

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

[RELATED: Bear spotted in suburban Phoenix neighborhood]

It was a wild scene outside the home of Anthem mom Mia Kruk Monday morning, as a bear sauntered through a front yard while she sat in her car.

“I thought it was a dog coming towards me, then I was like, that’s not a dog," said Kruk.

She captured video on her cell phone.

"I called my husband and said, ‘You won’t believe me. I saw a bear, in front of our house,'" said Kruk.

Kruk followed the bear down the street and caught up with sheriff's deputies who were also hot on its tail.

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

Meanwhile, Karen and Jeff Dill were moving furniture when they witnessed the commotion.

"I saw the sheriff’s vehicle, and he was standing behind it like in a protective stance, and I said to my wife, 'Hey, there he is; there’s the bear right there,' so she quick got the video," said Jeff Dill.

According to MCSO, deputies first responded to reports of the bear Sunday night, lost sight of it, but found it again Monday morning in the same area.

It was not being aggressive, and they were able to set up a perimeter where AZGFD officers tranquilized it.

[VIEWER VIDEO: AZFGD officials tranquilize bear in Anthem Monday]

Nobody was injured in the course of the incident but AZGFD ultimately decided it had to euthanize the animal.

Agency spokesman Tom Cadden said the bear had been captured in the Prescott area about 10 days ago. It was tagged and released.

"We estimate it traveled about 40 miles to get to this Anthem neighborhood. Apparently it had first been reported in the [Anthem] area last night and was still in the area this morning - abnormal behavior for a bear," Cadden explained in an email to Arizona's Family. "Because it had been previously captured in an area of human development, had been ear-tagged as a nuisance bear, and had made its way back to an area of human development, it was a public safety concern, and the decision was made to euthanize it."

"It’s amazing. It’s a neighborhood. We’ve seen javalina, we’ve seen bobcats, all sorts of animals, this is the first time we’ve ever seen a brown bear," said Jeff Dill.

According to AZGFD, the bears are likely looking for food and water. If you spot a bear in your neighborhood, they'd like to hear from you immediately.

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

AZGFD statement

Arizona Game and Fish Department officers this morning tranquilized and later euthanized an ear-tagged black bear that had been reported wandering around an Anthem neighborhood since Sunday night and was deemed a public safety concern.

This was the second time the young adult male bear had shown up in a developed community. The bear was captured 10 days ago in the Prescott area, was fitted with an ear tag as a nuisance bear, and released at an approved bear release site in a remote area. Officials estimate the bear traveled 40 miles or more to get to the Anthem neighborhood where it was removed today.

Euthanizing an animal is the last thing the department wants to do, but in this case the fact the bear had been ear-tagged, relocated, and once again ended up in an area of human development (abnormal behavior for a bear) indicated it was habituated and a potential threat to people.

Because of drought conditions in Arizona, Game and Fish estimates that this year could see increased instances of wildlife coming into communities, campgrounds and other areas of human development until summer monsoon rains arrive.

Game and Fish asks the public to report any nuisance bear activity to the department or local law enforcement. The department also reminds everyone that leaving food and trash around may be luring a bear to its death. The cause of most human-bear conflicts involves unnatural food sources. Once a bear starts associating humans with food sources, such as unsecured trash, pet food and bird feeders, the chances for conflict and risk to public safety dramatically increase.

If you encounter a bear, back away slowly to a place of safety, if available. If a bear continues to approach, try to scare it away by making yourself look as large as possible, making loud noises, and throwing objects at it. Do not run. In the rare event of a bear attack, fight back aggressively and use bear spray.

For more information or questions on living with bears and keeping wildlife wild, visit the department’s website at www.azgfd.gov/urbanwildlife.Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

3TV/CBS 5 Meteorologist

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