What to do about black bear sightings - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

What to do about black bear sightings

By Sara Gouedy - bio | email

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Residents in Warren, Adams, Brown and Clinton counties have been wondering what to do now that a black bear has been sighted in their area.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says that bear is a young male doing what bears do - foraging for food.

But that's bringing it in closer contact with people, which can be dangerous.

But there are things you can do to keep yourself safe.

"It was about five foot, maybe a little taller. Probably about my size," said James Sheltrown, who saw the bear in his backyard.

Since the spotting, people around the Tri-state have wondered what a black bear is doing in Warren County.

"There aren't more black bears, but there certainly are more of us, and we've spread our suburbs, and with that sprawl you end up with this tension between bears and people," said Thane Maynard, executive director of the Cincinnati Zoo.

Maynard says that's part of why people should be cautious now that a bear's been sighted in an area so crowded with people, so he has some advise.

"Most anything that you could think of that would attract a raccoon, would also attract a bear," he said.

You definitely want to make sure you tie up your garbage before you throw it in the trash can, and always close the lid.

"Don't approach it, don't try to scare it, and certainly don't do what you hear of people doing at parks...'Oh lets get our picture taken with it,'" said Maynard.

Mostly, don't panic if you see it.

"Your yard is fine. But at night, when it may be moving through, I wouldn't leave food out," said Maynard.

These are simple steps to make sure bears and people get along.

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