PETERSBURG, Ohio (WKBN) – There have been two black bear sightings in Petersburg recently.
One was spotted Wednesday night walking around, and the second sighting happened just a day later.
Viewers sent us the photos through our Report It feature.
The bear in the first sighting, which looks to be about 300 to 400 pounds, was spotted near a fence off of Garfield Road, near Route 170. It may have been looking for food.
The second was also along Route 170. The bear was near a dog on a leash. The viewer who sent us the photo said the dog was not hurt, and the bear ran away when it started barking.
The viewer said he had seen the bear off and on all day Thursday.
Jamey Emmert, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife, said unless the bear is presenting a conflict for landowners, the department will not intervene.
“Bears are not uncommon… this time of year,” Emmert said.
Emmert said because the bear was not threatened by the dog, the owner should scare the bear off through “harassment” while keeping the dog contained.
“Harassment includes clapping hands, shouting, spraying a hose on a strong setting like ‘jet,’ or banging pot and pans together to create an unpleasant noise,” Emmert said. “Black bears scare easily due to their passive nature, so it shouldn’t take much.”
Anyone concerned about the bear’s presence should call the Division of Wildlife at 330-644-2293 or 1-800-WILDLIFE. More information about bears is available at www.wildohio.gov.
Petersburg black bear sighting
Petersburg black bear sighting x
According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are several steps you can take to prevent conflicts with bears:
- Make trash cans inaccessible.
- Enclose your compost pile.
- Use enclosed recycling bins.
- Keep your barbecue grill clean and free of drippings. Keep the grill away from your house when you’re not using it, and clean it regularly with ammonia or bleach.
- Reconsider setting up bird feeders. If you do set them up, place them away from the house.
If you encounter a bear, here are 5 safety tips: (Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources)
- Leave it alone. Back away.
- If you feel threatened, make a lot of loud noise. Clap your hands. Make your presence known.
- Do not feed the bear.
- Remove pet food and bird seed from your yard if a bear is close by.
If a black bear attacks, which is rare, here are 4 tips:
- Do not play dead
- Escape to a car or building
- If escape is not an option, fight with any available object
- Concentrate kicks and blows to the bear’s face and muzzle.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to show the first bear was spotted Wednesday night.