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On the trail of the Clermont County bear

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- It was a quiet day Wednesday for bear watchers up until mid-afternoon.

That was when it was spotted in virtually the same area where he was seen multiple times Tuesday.  The bear, which has been strolling around Clermont County for days, was spotted near the intersection of I-275 and State Route-28 around 2:40 Wednesday afternoon.

Wildlife officials had been looking for the bear in the Woodcreek Subdivision area.  They were hoping that the bear was headed back where he came from, towards the Ohio River.  But with the newest afternoon sighting in the same area, young Mr. Ursus Americanus was apparently pretty content to be in Miami Township for now.

After multiple daylight sightings Tuesday in the area near Deblin Drive the last report was called in to Clermont County dispatch around 9 o'clock that evening.  The rest of the evening was quiet until someone showed up early for work at Milford Preschool, also known as Miami Elementary, and discovered the remains of a big bear feast.

Sgt. Jim Young of the Miami Township police department called it in and said, "The dumpster at Miami Elementary got destroyed so he got across the bypass and made it up to 28 at some time during the night.  It was found about 5:30, it was completely destroyed and he got all the pizza and hopefully, hopefully he got his breakfast and moved on.  He has not decided to live in the woods behind Miami E and get his pizza every night...Yeah."

In the mulch pile at the rear of the schools parking lot Local 12 found what certainly looked like bear tracks.  The debris trail that lead into the woods looked as if it took quite a while to make, carrying one bite at a time. 

The bear was originally spotted over the weekend along 52 near pond run road.  It made its way through the heavily wooded area up to Batavia Heights where it was seen half a dozen times Monday.  Tuesday it traveled just under 10 miles to the Miami Township area where it spent the day and night.  The bear had breakfast at the school a short distance away and then was sighted near 28 and 275.

Until the sightings Wednesday afternoon wildlife officials were hoping the bear was heading southeast, sort of back tracking back where he came from. It is anybody's guess where the bear is headed but officials hope he just quietly goes about his business and people leave him alone.

Wildlife officials tell Local 12 they have no plans to dart, tranquilize, or shoot the bear as long as it presents no threat to the public.  They also want people to remember it's illegal to hunt bears in Ohio.  The public is being asked to call authorities if they see the animal so they can track its progress.




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