CHAMPION TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WYTV) – A black bear was killed Thursday night near Champion Township. The animal was exiting the woods along Route 82 when it was hit.
Jamey Emmert, wildlife communication specialist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said the bear was tagged by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and they had been tracking it since April.
Emmert said the bear was probably roaming, trying to establish its territory. She said females typically kick their young male bears out of the den this time of year.
“Mom will tolerate the young female cubs for another year because they are not aggressive towards another litter – the new cubs she’s preparing to give birth to – but males tend to be territorial,” Emmert said. “That is what we see most often in Northeast Ohio, especially. One hundred and fifty pound males are looking for a place to call home.”
The animals are continuing to come out of hibernation and could come in contact with people, especially those who live near wooded areas. She said black bears aren’t aggressive by nature, and they’re actually similar to over grown raccoons. They are omnivores – meaning they eat a lot of nuts, berries, and plants.
The best thing to do is keep any food source away from the bears. Emmert said bird feeders, unsecured garbage and uncovered grills, are all inviting to bears.
Bear activity in Northeast Ohio does not peak until early July.
ODNR OFFERS THE FOLLOWING TIPS:
A “problem bear” can be defined as an animal that has lost its natural fear of humans and habitually causes property damage while in search of food. In this instance all potential food attractants must be removed from the area. This includes:
- 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.
- Crops-pick fruit from berry bushes as soon as possible; scare bears out of agriculture fields as soon as damage occurs.
Black bears are usually fearful of people, therefore bear attacks are a rare occurrence. Bears do not attack or kill children or pets as long as the bear is given its space and not cornered. The first thing to do when you see a bear is REMAIN CALM. Generally, black bears are non-aggressive and prefer to flee from the area as soon as they are aware of your presence. If you encounter a bear, and it is not aware of your presence, simply back away from the area slowly. If the bear is aware of your presence and it does not leave the area, avoid direct eye contact with the animal, give the bear an easy escape route and again, simply back slowly away from the area. Always avoid running or climbing trees, which may provoke a chase. An easy way to remember this is to be AWARE:
- Act calm and do not run.
- Warn the bear that you are near; talk in a firm, calm voice.
- 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.