JEFFERSON, Ohio -- A black bear was caught on camera stealing a trash can in Ashtabula County.
The Garot family shared video of the incident with FOX 8.
According to the Garots, the bear tried to steal their trash can Saturday night.
They say the animal was "kind of cute but also kind of serious."
The family lives in Jefferson and says residents in the surrounding area have also spotted bears.
They hope their experience serves as a caution to others.
"We just hope our neighbors are careful and lock away their trash cans, if they don't already," the family told FOX 8.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife says they rely on the public to report bear sightings.
They also say black bears are large animals and can cause significant damage with searching for an easy meal. If your yard is being visited by a black bear there are several precautions you can take to ensure the animal doesn't become a "problem bear."
A problem bear is an animal that has lost its natural fear of humans and habitually causes property damage while in search of food, according to ODNR.
To prevent this, officials say to remove all potential food attractants from the area including:
- Bird feeders and other wildlife feed
- Trash receptacles
- Pet foods
- Grease from grills
- Secure beehives
- Crops-pick fruit from berry bushes as soon as possible
ODNR also reminds citizens to remain calm if you encounter a bear. They say an easy way to remember what to do during a bear encounter is "to be AWARE."
- Act calm and do not run.
- Warn the bear that you are near; talk in a firm, calm voice.
- Allow space between you and the bear. Step aside and back slowly away. Do not make the bear feel trapped or threatened.
- Raise your hands above your head to appear larger if the bear approaches. Clap your hands or shout to scare the bear away.
- Exit the area.
For more on black bear safety, visit ODNR's website, here.