3 bears killed after AZ campground attacks - CBS 5 - KPHO

3 bears killed after AZ campground attacks

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PAYSON, AZ (CBS5/AP) -

Arizona authorities have killed three bears in the Tonto National Forest after three attacks on three people since May 31 in the Payson area. Since 1990, there have now been a total of 10 confirmed bear attacks within the state.

Game and Fish Department officials said two packs of hound dogs picked up the scents Sunday night of two bears near the Ponderosa Campground, the site of the recent attacks.

One male American black bear was found one mile below the campground and one large adult female was found in Hellsgate Wilderness.

The hounds chased the bears into trees and officials fatally shot both of the bears.

The third bear was killed by Game and Fish ground crew.

Authorities said they are conducting tests on the dead bears to determine if they have the ones involved in the non-fatal attacks.

Tonto National Forest officials have temporarily closed all six campgrounds in the Payson ranger district until at least July 15 because of the bear attacks. They recommended campgrounds in the Coconino and Apache Sitgraves National Forests for people who desire to camp.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5  (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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