The first-ever photographic evidence of a black bear in Ohio has been recorded in Ashtabula County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
There have been reports of bear sightings in Ohio in the past, but this video of a mother bear crossing a road with her cubs is the first sighting captured on film.
According to Cleveland.com, black bears historically used to roam the Buckeye State, but unregulated hunting and habitat loss nearly eliminated black bears in Ohio by 1850. Today, Ohio is home to a small but growing population of black bears. The population is estimated to be anywhere from 50 to 100 bears.
“This is the confirmation we needed to help ensure our suspicions were on point,” said Scott Peters, wildlife management supervisor for northeast Ohio. “Black bear sightings in northeast Ohio counties are not all that uncommon anymore, especially sightings of young males looking to establish territories during warmer months.”