The dos and don'ts if you see a black bear

BRECKSVILLE, OH (WOIO) - Tuesday night someone spotted a black bear in Brecksville.

Three days ago, one was seen in Hudson and over the weekend we told you about a sighting in Jefferson Township in Ashtabula County.

Those sightings got us thinking about any possible dangers.

Cleveland 19 is getting answers about safety around your house, including for your kids and pets.

Black bears are "not" mommy grizzlies, known for their bad temperament.

But, the black bears we see annually in Northeast Ohio can weigh up to 400 pounds and as cute as they are, remember they are wild animals. Keep that in mind.

"Well, I sure wouldn't bother him. I'd just try to sneak away," one local resident said.

Mr. Pesek, who has lived in his 100-year-old house since 1954, says he knows what to do if he encounters a black bear.

"Just stay away from them. If you don't bother them, they won't bother you," Pesek said. 

Geoff Westerfield of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources bares that out.

If you do see a bear, here are the don'ts:

Don't look black bear in the eye; don't run; don't climb a tree and don't corner the bear.

"You can have males that are looking for new territories. You can have male bears that get shoved out of an area by other male bears," Westerfield said.

ODNR tells us this is the time of year bears do their migration coming from Pennsylvania through Northeast Ohio especially through Hudson and Brecksville.

"If I were to walk up on a bear, what should I do, what should I not do? Bears have really poor eyesight. Biggest thing is just letting them know that you are there. You see a bear, say hey bear I'm here. Clap your hands a couple of times and slowly back out of that area," Westerfield said.

That's right, slowly back away, black bears can run up to 35 miles per hour, Don't feed bears. If there is a report of a bear where you live, take down your bird feeders, and don't put out the garbage until the scheduled pick up date.

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