The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said there have been three Black Bear sightings in Muskingum County this year.
One sighting was just outside of Philo. In June Steve McElhaney posted photos of the bear traveling down Butter Bean Road. Those in the neighborhood said they are being vigilant in case the bear is still in the area.
"I thought they was kind of silly at first but I’ve been keeping my eye out and I seen pictures on Facebook so if they say it is, it is I guess," said Butter Bean Road Resident Timothy Moore. "But I keep my eye out ’cause we live out in the country in a rural setting so they like to roam around the countryside and our backyard and stuff. "
Although this time of year brings the most sightings, ODNR Wildlife Specialist Lindsay Rist said there haven’t been an unusual amount and the community shouldn’t be alarmed. She explained what you should do if you are approached by a Black Bear.
"Yeah, I mean you would want to just raise your hands in the air, make yourself look taller," said Rist. "Taller generally makes you appear larger and honestly bears aren’t really that tall so if you can be more of an intimidating. If you want to talk in a loud voice… clap…just try to do something that’s going to distract them so they would want to leave the area. "
Rist also recommends taking pet food indoors, picking your berry bushes as soon as possible and waiting to put your trash outside, as Black Bears usually enter residential areas simply looking for an easy meal like those.