Here are the bear facts:
The drought that has plagued the Southwest for the past few years has forced some bears to search for food uncomfortably close to towns and cities.
And they're finding food awfully close to home these days.
Just last week, a bear was spotted roaming through a neighborhood at the Rim Club off of Highway 260.
Sunday night, a resident on Hillcrest Road in Payson called the police because a bear had roamed into her back yard and was eating the food she had put out for the deer. Another bear sighting was reported Monday night on Timber Circle.
Bear sightings are becoming more frequent, according to Game and Fish officials, because of human error. The big black marauders are finding easy food sources in your deer feeders, bird feeders, dog dishes and even your garbage cans. Nuisance bears have to be tracked, captured, relocated and, in some cases, killed.
You can help prevent these potentially disastrous encounters by following a few simple tips from Game and Fish.
Never leave garbage out overnight. Store it inside a garage or lock it in a shed until the day of collection.
Keep pet food inside.
Hang each bird feeder on a wire between two trees at least eight feet above the ground so a bear can't reach it. Never hang a bird feeder on the porch.
Keep barbecues clean and pick fruits and vegetables as they ripen.
Most fences don't stop bears, so don't count on a fence to keep a bear out of your garbage. Barking dogs and motion-sensitive lights are also not reliable bear deterrents.
Take a few moments today to keep you and the bears in the area safer this summer.