MONTGOMERY, Ohio -- Officers with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources camped out in Montgomery Thursday night, with high hopes of spotting the area's newest visitor -- a black bear.
But by Friday morning it was believed the furry intruder had already moved on.
The bear, first seen Tuesday in Miami Township, was thought to have gone looking for love somewhere else, but he was spotted again Thursday in Montgomery and the following day in Madeira.
Authorities said they lost the trail of the 2-year-old, 85-pound bear sometime Tuesday evening and didn't actively search for the animal Wednesday.
Montgomery residents reported his return the next morning.
The City of Montgomery can confirm that a bear has been sighted (Thursday) morning in the Winds neighborhood in Montgomery. This neighborhood is located south of Pfeiffer Road. The bear was last sighted in the area of Peachtree and Westwind at 8:05 a.m.
Mike Schneider is one of several Montgomery residents who claim to have seen the animal.
"Our male dog got within two feet of the bear. It came right in the middle of the yard and then turned back around and hopped over the fence," he said.
Vicki Moseley said she saw him, too.
"He was just here, I can't believe it," she said. "He came behind my dad's shed."
Residents of Madeira claimed to have spotted the bear Friday morning wandering along various parts of the city, most recently near Miami Avenue.
Officials believe the bear made it's way down into a ravine, walking along the railroad tracks in the Hamilton County community.
But beyond that the trail seems to have run dry.
Some area residents, like Walter Bush, hope to catch a good glimpse of the bear, while others are ready for him to go back home. They said as long as the bear runs wild, they cannot let their dogs outside.
Officers aren't ready to tranquilize the animal, but said they might have to if it means getting the bear out of Greater Cincinnati.
"If he goes up into a tree, that's normally an indication that the bear is tired," officer Jimmy Carnes said. "You're going to have to combat the atmosphere of people wanting to see the bear in the tree."
The bear is not considered a threat to anyone's safety, but officials with the Montgomery Police Department asked residents Thursday to keep their animals and children inside.
Please show respect for the bear and do not approach it. Wildlife officials have been contacted and are assisting in handling the situation. Montgomery Police Officers are monitoring the bear and its location.
Residents who spot the bear are asked to call the police department at 513-985-1600 to report its last known location. Please call 911 only in an emergency.
Officials said they believe the bear swam across the Ohio River from Kentucky searching for a mate.
Wildlife officers reminded residents to leave the bear alone if they happen to see him, but to enjoy his unusual visit.
"Please do not chase after it and do not shoot it,” Ohio wildlife officer Gus Kiebel said. “Observe it from a distance. It's kind of a neat sighting. Definitely rare for this area. Just don't push it too hard. Stay back and enjoy it from a distance."
Clermont County officials originally received several calls just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday of the bear wandering through neighborhoods near Teakwood Drive and Deblin Drive. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has been tracking the bear since last Friday.
Authorities cornered the animal near the Pinebrook Retirement Living community on Wolfpen Pleasant Hill Road in Milford just after 2 p.m.
Resident Kevin Tate said the bear is "the size of a large dog."
In fact, Tate thought it was a dog until he got a closer look.
"I was telling my wife to try and get a quick picture of him, but he took off toward this pumping station which is right at the end of the street here," he said.
Milford resident Pam Luthy recently spotted the young bear near her home.
“We had our garbage out for garbage night, it was about midnight and we saw something knock it over,” she said.
Officers in Milford said they plan to “wait the bear out.”
"We're trying to keep the bear safe and get it successfully out of here into a more rural area,” Kiebel said.
During the search, a parody Twitter account for the black bear was created.
The account, titled Miami Twp Bear (@MiamiTwpBear), has since tweeted doctored images of the bear at local Cincinnati venues. One featured the bear at The Eagle OTR restaurant in Over-the-Rhine.
Seems like Miami Twp PD are going on a bear hunt...— Miami Twp Bear (@MiamiTwpBear) June 24, 2014