On April 29, 2016, a young male black bear wandered into a neighborhood in Flagstaff, AZ. After a three hour chase, wildlife officials caught and tranquilized him. The bear, calculated to be 3 years old, was euthanized later that afternoon, according to Arizona Game and Fish Department policy.
The policy, which requires the department to put down any adult male bear it has caught in a populated area, dates back two decades. It was created after a 1996 incident near Tucson in which an adult male bear that was caught and released by Game and Fish returned to a campground and seriously mauled a teenage girl.
We consider this policy to be outdated and reactionary. Living in Flagstaff, surrounded by National Forest, is a blessing and we accept the risk of encountering wildlife, including predators. We feel it is only acceptable to euthanize an animal when it has become a repeat offender. Therefore, we wish to revisit and modify the policy. This land belongs to the animals first. We are the visitors.