Black bear sightings in Lake County - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Black bear sightings in Lake County

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LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) -

Residents and several police departments in Lake County have reported black bear sightings this week.

Lakeland Community College students are also on high alert after a black bear was spotted on their campus as well.

The sightings are under investigation, authorities have notified the Lake Metro Park Rangers of the local sightings. So far, it appears to be a single black bear popping up around the county. The bear has not been aggressive during any of the sightings.

As with all wild animals, residents are advised to not approach the bear and should you encounter one, make noise and simply go the other direction. It is important NOT to feed or leave food out.

Bear Tips and Information

Bears in parks, woods or even on a college campus are wild and their behavior is sometimes unpredictable. Although extremely rare, attacks on humans have occurred. Treat bear encounters with extreme caution and follow these guidelines:

If you see a bear remain watchful. Do not approach it. If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.)-you're too close. Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground. The bear is demanding more space. Don't run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Try to increase the distance between you and the bear. The bear will probably do the same.

If a bear persistently follows or approaches you, without vocalizing, or paw swatting, try changing your direction. If the bear continues to follow you, stand your ground. If the bear gets closer, talk loudly or shout at it. Act aggressively and try to intimidate the bear. Act together as a group if you have companions. Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground). Throw non-food objects such as rocks at the bear. Don't run and don't turn away from the bear. Don't leave food for the bear; this encourages further problems.

Most injuries from black bear attacks are minor and result from a bear attempting to get at people's food. If the bear's behavior indicates that it is after your food and you're physically attacked, separate yourself from the food and slowly back away.

If the bear shows no interest in your food and you're physically attacked, fight back aggressively with any available object--the bear may consider you as prey! Help protect others, report all bear incidents to a park ranger or local police department immediately. Above all, keep your distance from bears!

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