NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

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COLUMBUS (WJER) - Black bears sightings are expected to increase in the summer months, so the Ohio Division Of Wildlife has some tips for keeping them from becoming neighborhood regulars. 

Division of Wildlife spokesperson Jamey Emmert says the bears aren’t here to pick a fight.

“In northeast Ohio, our sightings are contributed mostly by bears traveling westward from Pennsylvania and northwest from West Virginia and crossing into Ohio, and we see our sighting peak in the summer months when young males are looking to establish territory,” she says.

Emmert says the bears are just looking for a calm place away from aggressive older bears, and an easy meal. She offers some ways residents can help the bears move through and out of this area. 

“Remove bird feeders, even if just temporarily to allow these bears to move on. Keep our trash in tight containers that can’t be accessed by bears or other animals for that matter. Clean up our barbecue grills and remove pet food, especially uneaten pet food, overnight,” she says.

Emmert says residents shouldn’t approach the bears. They can take pictures from a distance, leash their dogs to avoid any confrontations, and report all sightings to wildlife.gov or 1-800-WILDLIFE.

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