IN VIDEO PLAYER: Previous coverage of video sent in by a viewer for the first black bear sighting of 2023.
TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) The black bear is the one bear species still found in Arizona. National Black Bear Day happens on the first Saturday of June to recognize one of the most common bears in North America.
The black bear is the smallest bear and it’s breeding season is in July. Cubs are born the following January in their winter dens, according to the US Forest Service.
Smokey Bear, the national wildfire prevention icon, sent out a tweet in respect of the holiday reminding people to do their part to prevent human-caused wildfires.
Black bears are commonly found at elevations of 4,000-10,000 feet in forest, woodland, and chaparral habitats. These areas are often shared with people, so it’s important to consider how to not attract a black bear and how to respect their importance to the ecosystem.
This can be done by not feeding them, not storing food in sleeping areas, securing food supplies, traveling in groups, making noise, keeping kids close and pets leashed, and carrying bear pepper spray.
In the event of a run-in with a black bear, the US Forest Service recommends altering your route, making yourself as big as possible, wave your arms and make lots of noise. Give the bear a chance to leave before slowly backing away and staying calm. It’s recommended to never run or play dead.
This video KGUN9 posted to Instagram shows a black bear taking a bath on Mount Lemmon from 2021.