There have been several sightings of a Black bear cub near the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offices at the Conchas Dam Project, said Alyson Strickland, Corps of Engineers park ranger.
The cub is about 2 and a half feet high, and has been seen scavenging for food in garbage cans near corps offices.
There have been reported sightings of the bear for about two weeks, Strickland said.
On Monday morning, a trap was set out by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, she said.
Later that afternoon the cub had managed to steal the bait and was seen napping near the trap, Strickland said.
It is thought that the bear did not weigh enough to set off the trap, which would have caged the cub, said Darin Franzoni of the Corps of Engineers.
No further sightings had been reported after Monday night, said Jack Hartigan, San Miguel County Deputy Sheriff.
On their own for the first time, cubs often seek out an easy meal, said Dan Williams, a spokesman for the Department of Game and Fish.
In the spring bears are on the move and looking for food in the mountains, foothills and bordering communities, Williams said.
"We've been getting more and more bear calls," Williams said.
If trash cans are not secure, it's equivalent to feeding the bears, Williams said. "The bears get habituated to where they can get food. They've got good memories and they will come back."
If you live or camp in bear country, the Departmet of Game and Fish recommends:
l Keeping garbage in airtight containers inside your garage or storage area. Place garbage outside in the morning just before pickup, not the night before. Occasionally clean cans with ammonia or bleach.
l Removing bird feeders. Bears see them as sweet treats
l Never putting meat or sweet-smelling food scraps (melon) in compost pile.
l Taking in pet food or food dishes from the outdoors at night.
l Cleaning and storing outdoor grills after use.
l Never intentionally feeding bears to attract them for viewing. If you intentionally feed a bear and the bear becomes a nuisance, you could be cited and fined up to $500 — and the bear eventually may have to be killed.
l Keeping your camp clean, and storingood and garbage properly at all times. Use bear-proof containers when available. If not, suspend food, coolers and garbage from a tree at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet out from the tree trunk.
l Keeping your tent and sleeping bag free of all food smells. Store the clothes you wore while cooking or eating with your food.
l Sleeping a good distance from your cooking area or food storage site.
l Storing toiletries with your food.