Ohio Black Bear Sightings

Wayne National Forest
Yes, black bears are back in Ohio! Over the last 25 years black bear sightings in Ohio have become more and more frequent as bears are moving in from surrounding forests in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

FairField County
The bear was observed at about 10:30 a.m. in the 4000 block of Wilson Road in Greenfield Township, about a mile west of Lancaster, said Lt. Alex Lape of the Fairfield County sheriff’s office.
Another black bear was hit by a vehicle and killed on the Rt. 33 bypass near Hamburg Road last month.

Muskingum County
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said there have been three Black Bear sightings in Muskingum County this year.

Vinton County
2016-02-23 (Fall 2015)
A black bear was sighted in rural Vinton County last fall by USDA workers trying to eradicate a colony of feral hogs.
In Adams County, where the Amish girl reported the “honey bear” years ago, reports of bears are now commonplace. Ohio Division of Wildlife officer Scott Cartwright reports three sightings of bear last year and thinks the state’s habitat is ripe for more.

Stark County, Canton, Ohio
Friday, May 13, the North Canton Police Department was notified late in the evening that a bear sighting had occurred about ten miles northeast of the city.
It was presumed that was the bear seen in North Canton. However, at around 12:45 am on Saturday, May 14, residents in the 100 block of Far View Drive SW, reported seeing a bear eating bird seed from their backyard bird feeder.

Akron, Ohio
A bear was spotted on Applegrove Street N.W. at Lupe Avenue N.W. near a shopping plaza in North Canton Saturday.

University of Delaware
possible black bear sighting in the area behind Christiana Commons on Laird Campus.
Newark Police are tracking the bear, which has been seen in the vicinity of Wilbur Street, Cleveland Avenue, the Pomeroy Trail and Creek Road by Papermill Road.

Ashtabula County, Jefferson Village
A 911 call to the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department at 9:30 p.m. was transferred to the Jefferson Village Police Department. Patrolman Aaron McCracken patrolled the area near the intersection of N. Market St. and E. Walnut St. where the caller saw the bear headed westward behind homes on Market, but did not see the bear himself.
Patrolman Gary Nelson responded to a second sighting from a 911 emergency call in the under-100 block of E. Pine St. where Jamie Hines said she saw the bear in her yard before it entered the woods behind her property. Nelson sounded his vehicle siren and fired bean-bag rounds from a shotgun to frighten the animal away on advice from game wardens, but again – did not see the bear himself.

Tuscarawas County
Valerie Myers was already aware there were reports of black bear sightings in Tuscarawas County when she went out to lunch with her husband Wednesday.
As they drove the back roads to their destination she says she saw something out of the corner of her eye.
“We actually spotted the bear on the left hand side of the road

Wintersville, Toronto, Bergholz and Piedmont Lake
There have been multiple black bear sightings in the Ohio Valley in the past 24 hours.

Wayne County, Shreve, Ohio
Wayne County, Ohio Sheriff on Facebook. Might show up on YouTube.Com as well(nothing at posting), https://www.youtube.com/user/waynecountysheriff/videos

Wayne County, Smithville, Ohio
“According to Hunter, black bear sightings in Wayne County occur about four to five times a year.”

Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio
“Wadsworth resident Ron Schaefer photographed a black bear Sunday evening visiting a cluster of bird feeders in Wadsworth’s BriarThorn Estates development. The neighborhood runs off Hartman Road to the south of Interstate 76 and north of Akron Road (state Route 261).”

Akron, Summit County, Ohio
“Akron police say the bear that was hit and killed on Interstate 77 was the animal spotted over the weekend in Wadsworth and Norton.”

According to ODNR, Ohio is home to a small, but growing population of black bears. If you want to keep them out of your backyard, then you should get rid of anything that would attract them to the area, like bird feeders.

Historically, black bears roamed the Buckeye State. Unfortunately, unregulated hunting and habitat loss rendered bears extirpated from Ohio by 1850. Today, Ohio is again home to a small but growing population of black bears. Ohio’s bear population is estimated to be anywhere from 50-100 individual bears. It is important we understand a little about the biology and habits of the black bear if we are to coexist comfortably with this Ohio resident.
Most black bears range in size from 100 to 400 pounds, are 5 to 6 feet in length and average 3 feet high at the shoulder. The majority of bears in Ohio weigh between 125-250 pounds, and are juvenile male bears. Dispersing young black bears will often travel great distances in search of new habitat and are most likely to be seen by or interact with humans. These bears are extremely agile and are able to run up to 35 mph, climb trees with ease and swim long distances. Bears are omnivores, meaning they will eat a wide variety of foods. Depending on the season, their diet may include grasses, forbs, berries, mast from oak, hickory, and beech trees, carrion, and insect larvae. Bears will also consume agricultural crops, if available.

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