Sat, Feb. 22

Bear sighting in Jerome

The Jerome Police Department has received a report of a small bear seen near School Street.

"Our officers investigated and did not locate the animal, and AZ Game and Fish has been notified," Jerome PD stated on its Facebook page.

Here is important information from AZ Game and Fish:

Never approach a wild bear. Black bears usually avoid people, but if they start to associate people with food they may become aggressive.

If a bear is in your yard or neighborhood, immediately contact the Game and Fish office at (623) 236-7201 (line is available 24/7). Depending on what the bear is doing, department personnel may respond if it remains in the area.

Deter the bear by making loud noises, such as yelling, whistling or banging pans.

If you see a bear in the distance, alter your route to avoid it.

On the rare occasion that a bear approaches you, discourage it by:

  • Making yourself as large and imposing as possible. Stand upright and wave your arms, jacket or other items, and make loud noises.
  • Do not run and never play dead.
  • Give the bear a chance to leave the area.
  • If the bear does not leave, stay calm, continue facing it, and slowly back away.

Know the law. Bears are classified as big game animals in Arizona and are protected by state law. They can only be captured or killed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, legally permitted hunters, or in defense of yourself or another person.

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