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Three campgrounds closed near Payson due to bear attacks and sightings

PAYSON, Ariz. – Tonto National Forest officials ordered a second
temporary area closure Sunday due to a bear attack this morning on a
sleeping male camper in the
Ponderosa campground, according to a news release. Visitors have left the
campground.

“First of all, we want to express our concern and convey our positive
thoughts for the victim and his loved ones and wish him a speedy
recovery,” stated Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth.

This is the second bear attack in the Ponderosa campground and the
second area closure during the past month.

“Due to public health and safety concerns and the preponderance of bear
sightings this year, along with three attacks on humans in the last two
months, we are extending the closure area to also include Christopher
Creek campground and Sharp Creek campground,” Bosworth said.

The area closure is effective immediately until July 15, at which time the
status of the campgrounds’ safety will be revisited.

According to the Tonto National Forest news release, the news of Sunday’s
incident comes on the heels of a bear attack on a sleeping male
construction worker Friday. Game and Fish officers have teamed with the
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to find the bear.

Forest officials shut down the Ponderosa campground for nearly two weeks
earlier this year after an attack on May 31, when a bear entered a tent and
attacked a sleeping female camper. The woman’s injuries were non-life-
threatening. The campground later re-opened on June 12.

For more information regarding the area closure, visit the forest website.