This video taken by Teryl Heddleson shows a bear taking a swim in the Ohio river Wednesday morning.
This video was taken near the AEP Cardinal plant between Wellsburg, W.Va., and Brilliant, Ohio.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Communications Specialist Jamey Emmert identified the animal as the omnivorous black bear, the only species we have in the Ohio/West Virginia region.
“Bears are excellent and strong swimmers… and probably spend more time in the water than most of us realize. Biologists often refer to black bears as overgrown raccoons,” Emmert stated in an email.
Emmert said the bear does not appear to be distressed, but it is a good idea to give black bears space whether on land or in water.
“Black bears are cool critters that are naturally very passive unless they feel like they need to protect themselves,” she added. “That means, respect wildlife by giving bears their space, don’t try to feed bears, keep dogs leashed or contained to avoid conflict, and always enjoy wildlife from a distance.”
CLICK HERE for more information on black bears.