YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Several law enforcement agencies including YPD and YSU Police were tied up for most of Sunday, chasing not bad guys, but a young black bear through the North Side of Youngstown.
“Obviously this is something that we’ve come accustomed to. This time of the year in the May, June, July times where these juvenile males are moving in they’re looking for territory, looking for food, so that’s obviously what he was doing here this morning,” said Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Officer Supervisor, Scott Angelo.
Word of a black bear roaming a highly populated section of Youngstown drew folks to Wick Park to see if they could catch a glimpse.
“I can’t remember when the last bear sighting in Youngstown was. There was one out in Poland and there’s been some out in the burbs you know, but not, not in the city, not by the university, not this close,” said Youngstown resident Jan Pentz.
“It’s like a fire, I mean there’s nothing going on on a Sunday morning out here in Wick Park so yeah, no it’s definitely something different,” added fellow resident Alex Lipinski.
However, the bear wasn’t idle long. It was on the move, this time heading toward busier roads.
Law enforcement officials blocked off Belmont Avenue for about an hour as the bear rested on the tree outside of St. Elizabeth’s Health Center.
After law enforcement took a few steps back, it took off once again, back in the direction it came from. It Finally got into a more secluded area, and away from heavy traffic, so that when it gets darker, the bear can move out of Youngstown.
“Tranquilizing is not necessarily a good option because the bear would run for several miles while the drugs took effect and we don’t obviously want to euthanize the bear,” explained Angelo.
The ODNR encourages folks in the area to take their garbage inside so that it doesn’t attract the bear.
ODNR has more facts and tips about black bears. According to its website, a bear can become a problem when it has, “lost its natural fear of humans and habitually causes property damage while in search of food.”
It lists potential food sources and way to eliminate them,such as:
– Bird feeders and other wildlife feed: remove feeders, including hummingbird and suet feeders;
– Trash receptacles: store your garbage either in a garage or a secure container;
– Pet foods: keep pet foods inside, especially at night;
– Grease from grills: clean out grease traps after each use; store grill in garage or shed;
– Secure beehives: place electric fencing around beehives, and
– Crops: pick fruit from berry bushes as soon as possible; scare bears out of agriculture fields as soon as damage occurs.
For more information on black bears, click here.