Reported sightings of the endangered black bear rose in Ohio last year, according to new state figures.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said it received 224 sighting reports involving an estimated 93 black bears last year. That’s up from 152 sighting reports the year before.
Sightings were confirmed last year in 21 of Ohio’s 88 counties, mostly in northeast Ohio. Portage County had the most sightings reported at 36, and Trumbull County had the most confirmed sightings at 10. Portage County had six confirmed sightings, while Ashtabula, Geauga and Mahoning counties had five each.
Brown County in southwest Ohio had its first reported sighting last year since records have been kept, though it was unconfirmed. Also unconfirmed were three sightings of a sow and cubs and two sightings of lone cubs.