The cargo came from Lucas County and was taken to Republic Services Lorain County Landfill in Oberlin, where workers believed they saw a hand while recycling.
OBERLIN, Ohio – What was discovered as a human hand in a Lorain County landfill was ultimately key to discovering the remains of a bear that was recycled from Lucas County, the sheriff’s office said Friday afternoon.
According to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, the cargo of garbage that landed at the Republic Services Lorain County Landfill in Oberlin came from Toledo.
Republic Services did not respond to a call for comment Friday afternoon, and the Lorain County Sheriff’s office ignored how the office knew it was a bear or what type of bear it was.
Robert Vansant of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office said the remains of a bear were found on the recycling line at that dump.
The lieutenant said a load had come from the Lucas County area, and when the workers searched the recyclables, they found what looked like a hand.
When the police arrived, they said the remains were hog’s claws and sent photos to the Toledo Zoo. A vet there said they appeared to have claws.
The zoo asked their mammal curator to identify the species and they said it appeared to be a bear.
They were sent to the county morgue to be checked and verified to be hog’s claws. Several claws were found.
The sheriff’s office suspects that maybe someone was bear hunting in Michigan and threw the body away once they got the fur, or that the claws might have been from a taxidermist.
American black bear sightings in Ohio have increased since the early 1990s, after they were nearly wiped out in the state, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. It is illegal to hunt black bears in Ohio as they are considered endangered.
You can hunt black bears in certain areas of Michigan with a license – they are the only species of bears in Michigan.
Michigan bear hunting season typically runs from September 8th to October 26th, but varies by area. Hunters aged 9 and over can hunt black bears. Hunters under the age of 9 must be licensed prior to applying for a bear license or bear point under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.
If you see a bear, call your local Division of Wildlife office at 1-800-WILDLIFE or report the bear sighting online.
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