TORONTO - City Police are warning residents to be aware of a black bear that's been sighted by numerous witnesses during the past 10 days, according to police Chief Randy Henry.
"We started getting calls about 10 days ago," said Henry, adding the bear was first spotted in the vicinity of West Fernwood Drive. "We've had multiple calls about the bear since."
Henry said the bear apparently mauled a dog in the county Road 56 area, and the dog had to be euthanized due to its injuries, said Henry.
"We got a call Tuesday the bear had killed a dog," said the chief.
Henry said the police can do little as long as the bear stays out of the city. He said the sightings place the animal in a wooded area between the city's south end and the Costonia region. The chief added all calls on sightings of the animal are logged and reported to the proper authorities.
"We report the sightings to the Ohio Division of Wildlife," said Henry, adding the local wildlife officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resource was aware of the situation.
The chief said this isn't the first bear sighting in the area, but it is unusual the animal was staying in the vicinity for so long.
"They usually just pass through," said Henry. "This one seems to be staying in the area."
The chief warned residents to stay clear of the animal and report any sightings to City Police.
"Residents should go indoors and stay away from it," said the chief. "Residents shouldn't feed it. Call police, and we'll call the proper authorities. We'll monitor it - from a distance."