August 6, 2009

Ohio home damaged by bear

Authorities in Ohio say a black bear is the prime suspect in putting a huge hole in the wall of a home and smashing out a basement window.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife said the damage to Steve Lenart's home in Streetsboro this week included a hole ripped through an outside wall that extends through the inside drywall to expose the motor of the home's kitchen dishwasher. The damage bore claw marks and paw prints consistent with those of a black bear, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Thursday.

Officials said the animal is believed to be the same male black bear spotted rifling through trash cans in a nearby neighborhood about four hours later. They said the bear also damaged two beehives at the home of Lenart's next-door neighbor.

Authorities said black bears are a protected species in Ohio and cannot be legally harmed. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is asking anyone who spots the bear to notify police so authorities can keep track of its location.