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Black bear moves into Montgomery

MONTGOMERY, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- A black bear roamed into Montgomery early Thursday morning and one quick-thinking driver captured video of him with a smartphone.

"At first I didn't think it was a bear at first. I thought it was a dog until I got close up and I was like oh, that's a bear. I was like OK," Robert Estes said.

Estes was driving to work on Cooper Rd. near Zig Zag Rd. when he saw the bear around 6:45 a.m. Estes followed the bear for 200 feet until he ran into a church yard.

"It startled me," Estes said.

The bear also spent some time in The Winds subdivision. One man believes the bear got into a dumpster at Carlo & Johnny's before 7 a.m. Around 11 a.m., people called 911 and said the bear was on the edge of Montgomery Park. He was also seen near Hopewell Cemetery.

"He's more scared of us than we are of him," said Wildlife Officer Jimmy Carnes.

Officers with the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources continued to monitor the bear's journey Thursday. They do not plan to tranquilize the bear because it can be harmful to the animal and could possibly cause it to run into traffic. This bear has not been aggressive and is not expected to harm anyone. Carnes said it appeared the bear had traveled north from Miami Twp. and may be turning around to travel south. Carnes believes the bear might travel into Indian Hill which would require him to cross busy Montgomery Rd.

"Right now think of him as a 13-year-old boy learning to drive a tractor on his grandfather's land. This is totally new for the bear. He's obviously not sure of himself that's the reason why he's doing all of this wandering," Carnes said.

Bears can travel at least 15 miles per night. They are nocturnal and are most active in the evening and early morning. Drivers are urged to keep an eye out for him.  Meanwhile, Robert Estes and his family will keep an eye out for the bear.

"I was amazed because all the times that I've been to Tennessee never seen a bear and here it is in our own neighborhood," Estes said.

Anyone who sees the bear is asked to call 911. The ODNR advises to keep your distance and enjoy the sighting.

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