An increase in black bear sightings have been reported recently. The most recent sighting was noted in Kirtland.

According to the Kirtland Police Department, a black bear was spotted on Kirtland Chardon Road near Penitentiary Glen. Police shared the post over the weekend.

Numerous other black bears were reported in Geauga County recently, including several in Chardon on Friday. Chardon police said that bear sightings in Geauga County are occurring more frequently, but black bears are usually scared of people.

Even though the bears are usually not aggressive, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has several tips if one is encountered:

  • Remain calm
  • Do not harass, or disturb the bear. Leave it alone.
  • Do not run or climb trees. It may provoke a chase.
  • Allow space between you and the bear. Step aside and back slowly away. Do not make the bear feel trapped or threatened.
  • Raise your hands above your head to appear larger if the bear approaches. Clap your hands or shout to scare the bear away.
  • Exit the area.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the bear.
  • Do not feed the bear.

Black bears have been known to damage yards while scavenging for food. Here’s some advice on how to “bear proof” your yard:

  • Remove bird feeders, such as hummingbird or suet feeders.
  • Store garbage in a secure container.
  • Keep pet food inside.
  • Avoid storing grease from grills outside.
  • Pick fruit from berry bushes.

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