Nov 4, 2013 6:39 PM by Erika Flores

Bear sighting in Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA-There was a bear sighting Monday morning in Sierra Vista.

Police said someone spotted a large male bear about a block from an elementary school around 6 in the morning.

Then the bear moved away from the school about 5 blocks west where he ended up in a neighborhood tree and the homeowners didn't even know he was there at first.

The Rutherfords were getting their kids ready for school when they got the call.

"'We want you to stay inside you've got a bear in your tree,' and my wife said, ‘excuse me can you say that again?' And he said we had a bear in our tree," said Jonathan Rutherford.

And sure enough, "We looked out the window and we could see the bear just hanging out he wasn't too high up in the tree."

The family stayed inside taking pictures through their window while neighbors gathered at a safe distance to watch.

"I just couldn't believe it right up in that tree right there," said Bob Czzowitz."It was just a beautiful sight."

Arizona Game and Fish responded to take the bear back into the wild.

"He slid down with his claws, so they said he didn't get too injured. I was glad to hear," said Rutherford.

Arizona Game and Fish told News 4 Tucson, the black bear was between six and eight years old and may have stumbled into the city while walking in a wash.

"They're somewhat shy creatures, but they're also curious, so if he saw something that peaked his interest, he may have gotten out of the wash and just started getting into the residential area," said Mark Hart, with Arizona Game and Fish.

As for the Rutherfords, they said they won't forget this day anytime soon.

"It was definitely an exciting morning," said Rutherford.

Arizona Game and Fish tells News 4 Tucson the black bear was very healthy, a sign that there's more vegetation on the Huachuca mountains.

The agency was worried that there would be a lot of bear sightings in the city this year, but so far, they've only had about 40 calls reporting a bear sighting from the Sierra Vista area compared to more than 100 in just three months last year.


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