Residents Tell Tales of Bear Sightings

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BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP -- A black bear has returned to Bainbridge.

Residents have reported seeing the animal recently in their backyards and throughout their community.

Last Monday, John Klick's housekeeper took photographs of a black bear eating out of his bird feeder at his home on Lucerne Drive in Bainbridge. Then Sunday night, he noticed it on his back deck.

"The bear was standing right there, looking in at the window," said Klick. "Basically, he had knocked this pole over and snapped it, had the bird feeder on the deck and was eating the seed inside, and the dog scared him off and he ran up into the woods here."

John's neighbor, Mark Kleis, said he noticed the bear on Monday.

"We were blowing leaves off the top of my house," said Kleis. "My neighbor whistled over there, and we turn around and it was walking right through our front yard."

His daughter took video of it with her cell phone.

"I got about within 30 feet of it and followed it for about ten minutes, and it never even really cared," said Kleis. "It never really ran away fast. It just walked away very slowly, and it was actually pretty cool."

Bainbridge police believe this could be the same bear that was spotted in the area last fall, and they said it could also be the same bear seen in the Bedford Heights area last month.

"We've had a couple bear encounters here over the past couple years or so," said Kleis. "There's a lot of deer, coyote, turkey, you name it. There's everything around here so. But the bear doesn't scare us at all, at least not me."

"I think he's just trying to feed and stock up for winter for hibernation, so I think he's more scared of people than we are of him," said Klick.

Although many residents are not afraid, some are worried.

"There's reasons to be a little concerned, to be a little heads up as we walk outside our door, definitely," said resident Sharon Lloyd.

"It's kinda scary, it's dark in here, there's no street lights (it's very dark), you don't see anything, and there's lots of rustling around, anything can spook you," said Sharon's daughter, Haley Lloyd.

Police believe the bear is about six feet tall when standing on it's back feet and weighs more than 200 pounds.

For more on bear sightings in the area, click here.