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Facing Drought, Bears Wander Into Arizona Towns

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has received a flood of calls about bears in urban areas, with more than 200 bear-related calls last month alone.                                          

The Arizona Daily Sun spoke with Game and Fish spokesman Bill Andres, who says his agency captured 20 bears and euthanized seven of them for public safety reasons. The rest of the captured bears were relocated.

Andres said Game and Fish tries to relocate bears when it can, but the animals sometimes return to their neighborhood territories. He said that bears require between 15,000 and 20,000 calories a day, and the recent drought means bears aren’t finding as much food in the wild as they may need. 

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.