Are There Bears In Ohio? Curious Wild Animal Facts For Kids

Abhijeet Modi
Oct 06, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Oct 14, 2021
Brown mother bear protecting her cubs.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.2 Min

Bears are one of North America's most intelligent land animals that primarily consume meat.

In comparison to other land mammals of their size, the bear has the largest and most sophisticated brain, which they rely on it for a variety of activities. Any of the eight species of big, short-tailed predators found in the Americas, Europe, and Asia belong to the Ursidae family. 

The Chagrin River Valley has been the site of the majority of sightings since 1995. The majority of these bears are most likely young males.

Young black male bears go to places with smaller bear populations (such as Ohio's northside) to avoid conflict with older males who are particularly territorial during the mating season. When adolescent black bears reach highly developed places like the northeastern states, they become dissatisfied with the big human population and migrate eastward.

Black bears can be found throughout the United States, particularly in the east, along the west coast, in the Rocky Mountains, and in areas of Alaska. They can also be found in a few smaller locations in the southwest and southeast of the United States.

If you like this fun facts article, you might enjoy reading these articles on spirit bear facts and are there alligators in North Carolina.

How many bears live in Ohio?

Black bears are an Endangered species that may be found in wooded areas in the eastern half of Ohio.

Black bears formerly inhabited the state countryside, however unfortunately, by 1850, bears had become extinct in Ohio due to unrestricted killing and habitat degradation. Today, a small but rising population of black bears may be found in the state.

The bear population in the state is believed to be in the range of 50-100 individuals. Since the Ohio Division of Wildlife began monitoring sightings in 1993, the number of black bear sightings in the state has increased.

In 2018, there were 191 sightings confirmed across 45 counties. By the spring of 2007, the Ohio Division of Wildlife had received credible reports of black bear sightings from roughly 30 county residents.

Young male bears from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky are assumed to make up the majority of these bears. Black bears can currently be found in Ohio's northeast (Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas county) and Ohio's southeast (Washington, Athens, Hocking, and Vinton county).

To track black bears in the state, the Division of Wildlife primarily relies on citizens to report each bear sighting.

What is the deadliest animal in Ohio?

The native white-tail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is unquestionably the most dangerous animal in the state.

At first, this may seem strange. However, each year in Ohio, these beautiful and majestic large-game wildlife cause more than 20,000 car accidents. Black bears, pumas, wolves, and other deadly animals formerly roamed the state countryside. Despite reports of black bear sightings in isolated parts of Ohio's southern areas, these species are thought to be extinct.

Coyotes have been successfully restored to the state, although they are not considered harmful or lethal to people.

Ohio also has deadly snakes. The copperhead is the most common poisonous snake in the area. Although its bite is dangerous, it is seldom fatal to healthy people or creatures larger than rabbits.

The whitetail deer, on the other hand, has found a perfect home in the state. There are more deer now than when Columbus first arrived in 1492.

In Ohio, crop fields are broken up by rows of trees and brush-grown fencerows, creating an almost ideal habitat for deer. Orchards and truck gardens also attract deer.

Over the years, the state's overzealous control of deer shooting, combined with increasing urban encroachment on the environment and municipal politicians' unwavering failure to address the matter has resulted in a population explosion.

Brown bears in forest.

Can you kill a black bear in Ohio?

The unregulated hunting of bears is prohibited in Ohio under the state's wildlife code.

In the state, the black bear is protected by state law as an endangered species. If you see a bear, call your local Division of Wildlife District Office or report it online, but always leave the bear alone as hunting a bear or injuring it in any way is prohibited.

Bear sightings have increased in the eastern half of Ohio, but they remain uncommon. In Hocking Hills, your chances of seeing a bear are slim, and you can safely explore the region alone and unarmed.

Simply be alert of your surroundings and back away carefully if you encounter a bear. Identify yourself by continuing to speak in a calm voice so the bear understands you are not an animal to eat.

To calm the bear, clap your hands or scream. You can contact the Ohio Division of Wildlife or make a call to 1-800-WILDLIFE if you encounter a bear.

Are black bears dangerous to humans?

Black bears are more tolerant and less aggressive towards humans than other bears. Grizzly bears, for example, may weigh over 700 lb (317.5 kg) and prefer to remain away from human settlements.

Experts believe that while black bear assaults on people are rare, they frequently begin with dog fights. Predatory attacks on people by black bears are exceedingly unusual, but after a lady was murdered by a black bear in Canada while searching for her dogs, scientists want to give people some insight into how they may begin.

Offensive assaults are extremely infrequent, yet they account for many of the black bear deaths. These are usually spontaneous predatory assaults in isolated regions where a bear has minimal human contact. Bears who frequent campgrounds, bird feeders, garbage cans and have the most interaction with humans nearly never kill them.

The 750,000 black bears in North America kill fewer than one person per year on average, whereas men aged 18-24 are 167 times more likely than black bears to kill someone. The majority of black bear assaults are defensive reactions to someone getting too close, which is easy enough to avoid.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are there bears in Ohio?

curious wild animal facts for kids then why not take a look at best pet snakes: fang-tastic facts guide on pet snakes for beginners, or can horses eat pumpkin? vegetable dos and don'ts for owners.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

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Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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