Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ole Slew Foot Comes to Town

Like many other parts of the United States, the eastern outskirts of Cincinnati have been subject to slow but steady suburban and exurban growth, from the end of the second World War to the present day, particularly since the completion of Interstate 275 in the 1970s (also known as the Cincinnati Bypass, formerly known as Circle Freeway). With such encroachment comes the reduction of untamed wooded acreage, and the subsequent conflict of man with nature, as deer are sighted invading people's backyard gardens, and the migration of coyotes from the northern and western regions makes its way to the east and the south.

But the people of Clermont County, just east of Cincinnati, and where this writer's hometown of Milford is located, were not ready for their latest visitor.

Miami Township Police are no longer searching for a male black bear Tuesday but a police presence still remains to stop the bear from going any further north.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife plans to let the bear go naturally. The wildlife division said they've had calls about black bear since Friday but Tuesday is the first time it has interacted with humans ...

Apparently, the two-year-old, 85-pound bear swam across the Ohio River from Kentucky in search of a mate. He would have a hard time finding one, as black bears are an endangered species in Ohio. Nonetheless, state wildlife officials were tracking him, especially once he had encountered humans at an outer suburb less than five miles east of the house where I grew up. The plan as of last night, was to wait until he emerged from whatever deep woods where he was hiding (probably more scared than anyone in the surrounding cul-de-sacs), capture him, and release him into a more remote area.

Who knows, maybe the Ohio Division of Wildlife will arrange a blind date for him.

And so, this bluegrass rendition by Jim and Jesse, of a country classic by Johnny Horton, is dedicated to our furry friend, who will hopefully find a more suitable venue for letting nature take its course.

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