RAVENNA, Ohio -- There have been at least eight sightings of a black bear in Portage County in the past week. The latest sighting was on Sunday morning in the backyard of a home on Route 88, outside Ravenna.
The animal was spotted by Patti McDonald, whose husband, Bill, told Fox 8 News, "She was pretty excited, 'Bill, Bill, come here ... there's a bear in the yard!' "
The McDonalds snapped a series of photos of the bear as he foraged for food.
"He walked down through the yard, walked over to a tree, jumped up and tried to get a piece of corn. I feed the birds, and he came here and he was eating, laid down eating the bird feed," said McDonald.
The Portage County sheriff is reminding residents to give the hungry bear a wide berth.
"We are urging people certainly not to feed it, not to get too close to photograph it,” said Sheriff David Doak. “If you kind of leave them alone, they do their own thing and go away." Doak also pointed out that black bears are a protected species in Ohio, and it’s illegal to kill or injure them.
Even though they are fascinated by the wayward bear's trek across the county, families like the McDonalds have decided to take some precautions.
"We'll just keep the dog locked up for a while," said McDonald. “And I won't feed the birds for a few days."