Summit County Metroparks confirms black bear sighting

AKRON, Ohio - Walk through the acres of parks throughout Northeast Ohio and one will find occasionally find something unexpected.

A park visitor was walking through the snow-covered trails of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath trail near Akron when tracks resembling a bear were discovered.

Debate on social media ensued. Were the tracks those of a large river otter or a bear?

The Summit County Metro Parks confirmed the tracks belonged to a black bear.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio's bear population is estimated between 50 and 100 bears.

Via the ODNR:

Most black bears range in size from 100 to 400 pounds, are 5 to 6 feet in length and average 3 feet high at the shoulder. The majority of bears in Ohio weigh between 125-250 pounds, and are juvenile male bears. Dispersing young black bears will often travel great distances in search of new habitat and are most likely to be seen by or interact with humans. These bears are extremely agile and are able to run up to 35 mph, climb trees with ease and swim long distances.

RELATED: Black bear and two cubs spotted in Ashtabula County

A cool find, indeed.

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