The recent string of bear attacks in Arizona's high country has some folks re-thinking their camping trips for the holiday. So we went to the experts to ask the question everyone is asking: Is it safe to go camping?
"You can see how strong these guys are," said Linda Searles with the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. "They decide, they know, that if they go into that campground, they're going to be rewarded."
She said the bears like fish and fruit and they love peanut butter. But bears are going after much more than what's in your camping pantry.
"We have three confirmed attacks since May 31," said Tim Holt with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
They're going after people. And three bears have been killed because of it. Arizona Game and Fish Department officials don't yet know if the bears were involved in the attacks, but they aren't taking any chances.
"Until we can get that evidence and the bears analyzed, we will continue to search for additional bears," he said.
On May 31, a sleeping camper was attacked at the Ponderosa Campground.
On Thursday night, a man sleeping in an unfinished cabin near Payson was attacked.
And Sunday morning, a man sleeping next to his fiancée and infant son was attacked at the Ponderosa campground and is in a hospital in critical condition.
"Everything, any food source is going to attract bears right now," Searles said.
She added that with the fires in Arizona and the drought, bears are going into campgrounds looking for food. With that in mind, is it safe to enjoy the high country this summer?
"Just as if you were going to another country, you want to educate yourself on the culture and what was out there on the locals," she said. "Well, you go out into the forest, these are the locals!"
She added you must be smart about camping. Bring bear-proof containers, don't wear fragrant deodorants or perfumes and avoid the Ponderosa area in the meantime.
READ: AZ campground opens after bear attack (6/13/2012) READ: An exclusive look at a bear trap (6/10/12) VIDEO: Jadiann Thompson's back story on bear trap (6/10/2012) HEAR: 911 call from 74-year-oldMore>>
Tuesday, December 3 2013 4:50 PM EST2013-12-03 21:50:55 GMT
A newly released 911 report is giving new details to what led to the arrest of a Tucson couple accused of locking up their three daughters for nearly two years. The girls, ages 14 and 12, said their mom'sMore >
A report released Tuesday is giving new details to what led to the arrest of a Tucson couple accused of locking up her three daughters for nearly two years.
Tuesday, December 3 2013 5:11 PM EST2013-12-03 22:11:45 GMT
An Arizona State University student teacher is in jail on suspicion of sexual misconduct involving a 16-year-old student at a high school where he was placed, Tempe police said. Joel Calderon, 26, wasMore >
Joel Calderon, 26, was arrested Tuesday at his home and faces six counts of sexual conduct with a minor, all involving the same 16-year-old victim, police said.More >
Tuesday, December 3 2013 5:52 PM EST2013-12-03 22:52:08 GMT
Eleanor Turner passed away in a hospice facility early Friday morning. While her son and daughter were debating whether to tell Eleanor's husband Frank, another phone call came. Frank Turner passedMore >
In the Sunday edition of the Charlotte Observer, Page 7 B, you find a story of a love so true, even death didn't part them for long.More >
Wednesday, December 4 2013 12:42 AM EST2013-12-04 05:42:35 GMT
MADISON COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – A mother is facing charges after she allegedly left her children in a bedroom with drugs and a corpse. According to Richmond police, around 8:30 a.m. on November 30 officersMore >
According to Richmond police, around 8:30 a.m. on November 30 officers responded to a home in Dixie Plaza on a report a 24-year-old man had overdosed.More >
Wednesday, December 4 2013 9:10 AM EST2013-12-04 14:10:35 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The Super Bowl attracts an audience of millions every year, but one locally produced commercial will be missing out on primetime air play. Daniel Defense, a gun manufacturer fromMore >
The Super Bowl attracts an audience of millions every year, but one locally produced commercial will be missing out on primetime air play.More >