KIRTLAND, Ohio - Kirtland Police posted a warning to residents to watch out for a black bear in the area after one was spotted by a homeowner near the Holden Arboretum.
The bear was reportedly young; weighing approximately 100 to 150 pounds.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife says black bear sightings aren’t unusual in Northeast Ohio; with 73 reported last year and 30 so far this year.
According to ODNR the black bears are generally young and male; coming to Ohio looking for food and territory after being chased from Pennsylvania by older male bears.
They are usually afraid of humans but that didn’t calm nerves Thursday night in Lake County.
Families, walkers and runners were being extra cautious at Penitentiary Glen Reservation on Kirtland-Chardon Road.
“The fact that there’s a bear is kind of awesome but kind of scary,” said runner Kelly Bildstein.
“We’ll be careful and on the watch,” added mom Renata Franko.
And recently residents in a Campbell neighborhood in Mahoning County were terrified when a bear showed up in a back yard. Police say they unfortunately had to kill the bear for public safety.
Wildlife officials recommend people follow these tips to stay safe.
If You Encounter a Bear:
· Remain calm
· Don’t run; back away slowly
· Clap your hands or shout
Bear Proofing Your Yard:
· Secure trash containers
· Remove bird feeders
· Keep pet foods inside
· Clean grease from grills
· Pick fruit as soon as possible off trees and bushes
And most importantly they say report the sighting to your counties wildlife officer or to ODNR Division of Wildlife so that they can track the animals and relocate them if necessary.