LIBERTY - A black bear was reported Friday in the backyard of a home on Tibbetts Wick Road.
Police warned residents to avoid making contact with the bear.
According to the Weathersfield Township Police Facebook page, nearby Liberty Township had the black bear sighting by a Tibbetts Wick resident, who took a photo of the animal.
Tibbetts Wick is partly in Liberty and also in McKinley Heights, which is part of Weathersfield Township.
A firefighter in Newton Falls said a bear was sighted four days ago in a yard near the area of South Canal Street and West Main Street.
A 911 supervisor said Friday they had not received any calls of a bear. Other area police departments also reported no calls of bears on Friday.
Black bear sightings are increasingly more common in the Mahoning Valley area. Police said residents who see a bear should remain calm and not approach the animal. Black bears usually are non-aggressive and afraid of people.
Other tips include to avoid making eye contact with the bear and walking slowly away from the area.
If the bear is aware of your presence and it does not leave the area, avoid direct eye contact with the animal, give the bear an easy escape route and again, simply back slowly away from the area. Always avoid running or climbing trees, which may provoke a chase.
Other advice posted includes:
l Warn the bear that you are near; talk in a firm, calm voice;
l Allow space between you and the bear. Step aside and back slowly away. Do not make the bear feel trapped or threatened;
l Raise your hands above your head to appear larger if the bear approaches. Clap your hands or shout to scare the bear away;
l Exit the area.