Black bears spotted in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Black bears spotted in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties

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FOWLER TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Although it's not really the time of year for bear sightings in the Valley, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says it has received reports of two bears wandering through the area over the past couple of weeks.

A Fowler Township resident emailed 21 News a picture of a bear spotted in a yard along Ridge Road on Monday and again on Wednesday.

Brian Kay, Wildlife Research Technician for the ODNR, tells 21 News that over the past two weeks they have received reports of a male black bear sighted in Coitsville in Mahoning County, as well as sightings of another bear in the Grand Valley and Mosquito Creek wildlife areas of Trumbull County.

Kay says black bears are most commonly seen in this region during the months of June, July and August as they wander here looking for female bears and food. Kay says once the males discover that the Mahoning Valley isn't a very good location for finding a mate, they go back to the forests of Pennsylvania.

Kay says the bears range in weight from 100 to 150 pounds and are not known for being aggressive. He says the animals are more likely to flee unless they are cornered or startled.

Kay recommends that homeowners who know that there are bears in their neighborhood should take down their bird feeders and secure trash cans to deprive the animals of a food source.

The ODNR received 224 sightings reported from an estimated 93 black bears in 2012. Sixty-five of the 224 sightings reported were confirmed by ODNR Division of Wildlife personnel.

The number of total sightings in 2012 increased from 152 in 2011.

Twenty-one counties had confirmed sightings in 2012 from an estimated 35 bears.

Northeast Ohio had the most sightings: Portage County had the most total sightings (36) and Trumbull County had the highest confirmed sightings (10). Portage County had six confirmed sightings, while Ashtabula, Geauga and Mahoning counties had five each.

There were 39 nuisance reports in 2012, and 17 were confirmed. Nuisance or destructive behavior includes damage to bird feeders, beehives and garbage containers.

Black bears were sighted during every month of 2012, and 80 percent of the sightings were reported from May to September.

The black bear is native to Ohio and on the state's endangered species list. All black bears in Ohio are protected by state law.



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