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Bear making its way through Clermont County
CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- The hunt was on after a black bear or bears were spotted near local neighborhoods
Sidney Osborne told Local 12, "I'm thinking, 'Am I really seeing a bear?' Then I grabbed for my phone and dialed 911."
The uninvited guests left lots of memorable moments in their wake. Sightings of the bear or bears began on Sunday and continued right up through Tuesday afternoon. The most recent sightings were in Miami Township near the Junior High School on Wolfpen Pleasant Hill Road.
Summer is the time of year when adult female bears kick the younger males out and send them on their way looking for their own territory. So it was not unusual for the animals to be on the move. What was a bit unusual was for people to see the bears out and about in their community.
Ken Osborne doesn't think the picture of a bear taken Tuesday afternoon by Miami Township Police was the bear he saw Monday afternoon in back of his Batavia Heights home. He said that bear was twice his size. Osborne and his wife were headed out onto their screened porch in the Crosspointe subdivision about 3:30 in the afternoon when a bear came sauntering through their yard, not 6 or 7 feet away, stomping on the flowers.
The first reports of bears began coming into Clermont County dispatch on Sunday with a sighting near New Richmond.
Clermont County sheriff A.J. Rodenberg told Local 12 News, "Then yesterday we got maybe five or six reports called into the com center about the same bear, described the same way, seen up in Batavia Heights around Old-32 and Crosspointe. A little bit west of the high school."
Just off Old-32, a somewhat surprised Jennifer Butterfield said she's going to pay attention to her kids when they're outside, "I am quite a sight seer out here. I love to people watch. Now I'm gonna be bear watching."
Butterfield's 5-year-old daughter, Mckenna, after being asked if she had ever seen a bear said, "Yes." But when asked if she had ever seen one in her area or if she wanted to the girl quickly responded, "No!"
The bear or bears proved to be on a rather northerly course. Officials from the Division of Wildlife want to stress that black bears are not considered game animals in the state of Ohio. They're asking people if they see bears to simply give them their distance and notify authorities.
The biggest year in this state for bear sightings was 2012 when there were 224. In 2013 there was a bit of a decrease with just 158 sightings statewide. May through July is the peak breeding period which also means more young male bears are on the move.
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