Officials take black bear from northeast OH couple over fencing

The bear has been relocated from Canton to a facility in Reynoldsburg.

CANTON, Ohio (AP) – A pet black bear has been taken from a northeast Ohio couple over fencing issues within the animal’s cage.

The Repository in Canton reports state agriculture officials showed up to Jeff and Susan Fitzgerald’s Plain Township home on Monday and took Ben, a bear bought 18 years ago at an exotic animal sale.

Officials say Jeff Fitzgerald has been warned repeatedly since September 2014 to address issues raised during state inspections. Officials say they were concerned with securing the fencing on the enclosure and fixing its roof.

Susan Fitzgerald says her husband had about three-quarters of the enclosure complete. She says they would like to visit Ben and are trying to determine how the appeals process works.

The bear has been relocated to a facility in Reynoldsburg.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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