Portage County: A bear in your back yard?

7:36 PM, Jun 22, 2012   |    comments
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So, you're enjoying a nice evening at home with your spouse and the phone rings. On the other end is the local sheriff's department saying you have a bear in your back yard.

What do you do? It happened in Portage County and WKYC Photojornalist Carl Bachtel has the story.

Some folks set up bird feeders and plant beautiful flowers to attract wildlife. But David Ruehr, of Shalersville, had a special visitor Wednesday evening.

Ruehr said the bear looked like a teenager that had his Daddy's pajamas on, a good, healthy looking bear.

That's right... a black bear. Video camera in hand, Ruehr captured this bruin burglarizing his bird feeder.

His wife Irene was a little more excited.

Sightings like this are seasonal. After a year with Mama bear, adolescent black bears are shown the door, so to speak, and wander in search of a territory of their own.

Bird feeders like the Ruehrs' are an easy meal for them, but there are other things that can attract bears, common things that folks don't think about, like barbecue grills for instance.

You get in a hurry, you forget to clean it that night, and animals will find it right away.

The Ruehrs have lived here for 41 years and the wooded area behind their home is a perfect habitat for wildlife. It's a part of country living they enjoy and they're taking the bear in stride.

Ruehr said the bear was not aggressive in any way "but I didn't go out and talk with him or anything."

Ruehr said he hoped the bear was just passing through as they really liked seeing him and would like to meet him, but really don't want him back for supper.


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