Police: Officer Kills Bear in Stark County

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UNIONTOWN, Ohio — There is one fewer bear roaming Northeast Ohio following an incident that police said forced an officer to shoot one of the animals.

According to Uniontown Police Chief Harold Britt, it was a measure no one wanted to take, but it was necessary for safety reasons.

Britt said the department received a call around 8 p.m. Thursday reporting a bear sighting at a putt putt golf course where there were roughly 70 kids at two birthday parties.

An officer approached the bear with a vehicle in an attempt to direct it back into the woods.

Instead, the bear ended up in a neighborhood where families were spending time outside.

The bear was killed in a backyard of a home between Pontius and Switzer, Britt told Fox 8 News.

It was taken back to the police station and will be handed over to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Bear habits

ODNR said there are currently a few black bears in the area, and their presence is not unusual for the summer months.

The bears are generally not aggressive as they search for mates, but people are reminded to maintain a safe distance.

Bears will protect themselves if they become cornered.

Recent sightings

Three other bear reports have been filed in Stark County so far this year.

The first was made on May 1 at the Nimishillen Township and Washington Township border.

The animal was seen between Beech and Easton streets.

On Wednesday, a bear was seen on McCallum Avenue in Lexington Township.

It was caught on cell phone video.

Then on Thursday, a driver saw the bear cross the road at Mogadore Avenue in Uniontown.

Stark County residents who spot a bear should call the ODNR’s Akron office at (330) 644-2293.