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A Black Bear Has Been Spotted In Franklin County

In a surprising turn of events, residents of Franklin County recently had a unique wildlife encounter.

For the first time in almost two decades, a bear was spotted roaming in Franklin County, in a neighborhood near Three Creeks Metro Park. This remarkable incident, captured by a Ring video camera in the early hours of June 24, has sparked both curiosity and concern among the local community. Let’s delve into the details of this intriguing event and explore some important facts about black bears.

The Bear Encounter

According to the Division of Wildlife within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), a black bear was captured on video in a driveway, strolling casually for approximately 15 seconds before disappearing from the camera’s view. Although the bear’s visitation was brief, officers from the ODNR are actively investigating the reports and gathering information from nearby residents. However, they believe that the bear has likely moved on from the area.

Bear Sightings in Central Ohio

The ODNR has been monitoring bear sightings for the last 30 years. Since 1993, only a handful of confirmed sightings have been reported in central Ohio counties. Here is a breakdown of the number of confirmed sightings in each county between 1993 and 2022:

Franklin: 1 confirmed sighting in 2004
Pickaway: 5 confirmed sightings in 2002, 2004, and 2010
Fairfield: 15 confirmed sightings in 2001, 2004, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2022
Licking: 6 confirmed sightings in 1994, 1995, 1997, and 2003
Delaware: 1 confirmed sighting in 2020
Madison: 1 confirmed sighting in 2002

The black bear, the most common bear species in North America, holds a captivating presence in the natural world. An adult black bear typically weighs between 150 and 700 pounds. Male black bears, on average, weigh around 300 pounds, while smaller females weigh approximately 175 pounds, according to ODNR.

VIDEO: Surveillance camera captures bear in Franklin County for first time in nearly 20 years

When standing upright, male bears can reach heights of up to 6 feet, while females typically range between 4 and 5 feet tall. On all fours, adult black bears generally measure between 2.5 and 3 feet at the shoulder.

Precautions and Guidelines

When it comes to encountering a black bear in the wild, it’s best to avoid direct approach and give the bear ample space. To appear larger and potentially deter the bear, raise your arms above your head.

The recent bear sighting in Franklin County has stirred both excitement and a sense of vigilance among the local population. While black bear encounters remain rare in central Ohio, it is essential to remain knowledgeable about these majestic creatures and adhere to the guidelines provided by wildlife experts. This particular bear is likely a young male, out searching for a mate. ODNR plans to allow the bear to move freely, but to keep a close on eye on him.

As residents and authorities alike keep a watchful eye on the bear’s activities, let us appreciate the awe-inspiring wonders of nature that occasionally grace our communities.

Featured image by John Thomas on Unsplash.