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Black bears in the backyard? Believe it

There's been reports of bears in Wintersville, Toronto, Bergholz and Piedmont Lake (WTOV).

There have been multiple black bear sightings in the Ohio Valley in the past 24 hours.

And when you see one, there is always a story to go with it. We've had reports of bears in Wintersville, Toronto, Bergholz and Piedmont Lake.

The sightings have those areas buzzing.

"I thought, man that is one, big bear!" said Bill Boehke, who spotted a black bear he estimated to weigh 400 pounds.

As the bear walked through his Cross Creek Township backyard, Boehke managed to take a few pictures, from afar.

"I was trying to get closer to get a better picture, but I didn't want to get too close and end up dinner," Boehke said.

The bear wandered by around 11 a.m. on Wednesday and is the talk of the neighborhood.

"It actually just walked real casually," Boehke said. "It was not in a big hurry to go anywhere; it was out for a stroll more or less, and it just walked down the hill and into the woods."

Other news9 viewers saw black bears where they live.

A family in Toronto took pictures along Township Road 391 on Tuesday evening. And a driver reported having to stop on U.S 22 by the Lovers Lane exit to let a bear cross the highway.

"It just goes to show you never really know what's around in your area," Boehke said. "You think that in a residential neighborhood, you'll never see anything like that but you never know."

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, black bears are usually afraid of people, so attacks are rare.

But that doesn't mean accidents can't happen.

If you see a bear, remember the acronym AWARE.

-Act calm and don't run.

-Warn the bear that you're nearby talking in a firm, calm voice.

-Allow space between you and the bear.

-Raise your hands to appear larger if the bear approaches.

-Exit the area.

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