Animals in the Backcountry

Report Wildlife Encounters!

If you encounter a bear, mountain lion, or Africanized honey bees, we ask that you report the incident to park staff as soon as possible.


Black Bear

If approached by a black bear:

  • Make Yourself Look Large. Raise your shirt or jacket above your head to give the impression of size.
  • Scream Loudly. Make sure the bear knows you are a human.
  • Fight Back. If a bear attacks, fight back vigorously.

Bear-Proof Containers

The Rincon Mountains are home to a small population of black bears. To prevent these bears from associating food with humans, bear-proof storage containers are provided at all six designated campgrounds.

Store all scented items, including food, garbage or toiletries, inside these bear-proof containers. Improperly stored items may lead to property damage and/or possible human injury. Do not leave food or trash inside the bear-proof container when departing.

Keep clothes, sleeping bags and tents as odor free as possible, do not cook or take food inside your tent. Clean up thoroughly after each meal and never burn food scraps in your campfire.

For your safety, and that of other wilderness users, do not feed, touch or approach any bear.


Africanized Honey Bees

If attacked by bees:

  • Get Away Quickly! Run from attacking bees and seek shelter in an enclosed space such as a vehicle or building. If cover is not available, continue running until the bees stop chasing you. In some cases this distance may be as much as onehalf mile.
  • Cover Your Head! Africanized honey bees target the eyes, ears, nose and mouth when attacking. Use your shirt or jacket to cover your head while running away. Keep the hole you are looking out of as small as possible, without impairing your vision.
  • Do Not Kill Attacking Bees! If you kill an attacking bee, it will release an alarm scent that will attract other bees from the colony.
  • Do Not Flail Your Arms! Flailing your arms or swatting at bees will only make the attack worse.
  • Seek Medical Attention! If you are attacked by Africanized honey bees, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.

Learn more about Africanized honey bees.


Mountain Lions

If approached by a mountain lion:

  • Make Yourself Look Large! Raise your shirt or jacket above your head to give the impression of size.
  • Scream Loudly! Make sure the mountain lion knows you are a human.
  • Back Away Slowly... Do not turn your back on the animal. Back away slowly, and do not run. If you turn and run, instinct may trigger the animal to chase after you and attack.

Last updated: December 26, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730


520 733-5153

Contact Us