Bear sightings reported across county

Published 1:18 am Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Lawrence County has a hungry visitor. Over the past week or so, a bear has been spotted in Hanging Rock, Coal Grove and Kitts Hill, visiting residents to snack on cat food left out for strays, bits of food from trash cans and even bird seed left in feeders.

“The bear has traversed all over. It’s not every day we see them in municipalities and high-density areas,” said Lawrence County game warden Darin Abbott.

Abbott went on to explain that the bear is “looking for an easy meal” and recommends containing trash until it’s time for pickup.

“If I contain my trash, he’ll just move on to the next house. We need to do it as a community,” Abbott said.

While most will not try to feed the bear, it only takes one or two residents in a neighborhood doing so to draw the bear to the area.

In addition to keeping trash contained and not actively feeding the bear, Abbott cautioned against leaving food out for outdoor animals at night.

“The bear was spotted in Hanging Rock about a week ago, a resident was leaving food out for strays. The bear travels at night and early morning. Avoid outdoor feeding at night, contain feeding to daytime hours. This includes bird feeders,” Abbott said.

To contact your local wildlife officer, who is a commissioned state law enforcement officer, call 1-800-WILDLIFE or visit ohiodnr.gov.