Virginia Road Closed Due to Sleeping Bears

They were spotted napping in a tree on Bruin Drive
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 27, 2021 3:00 PM CST
Virginia Closes Road to Let Bears Sleep
Two of the four bears sleeping in a tree on Bruin Drive in Chesapeake, Va., on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021.   (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

Officials in Virginia closed a road in a Chesapeake neighborhood after a mother bear and three cubs were spotted napping in a tree. Chesapeake Animal Services asked residents near the tree—on Bruin Drive—to stay inside Monday and the general public to stay away from the area, the AP reports. Officials hope that giving the bears "space, quiet, and time" will allow them to leave. Black bears can be unpredictable, especially when sows (mothers) have cubs,” animal services officials said on Facebook. "This is an extremely stressful situation for the bears, so it’s important to stay away from the area. That includes driving past the site."

Chesapeake Police spokesman Leo Kosinski said dispatchers were first alerted to a possible bear sighting around 2am Monday, the Virginian-Pilot reports. Later that morning, officers saw the bears napping in the tree and closed off the area, he said. Conservation officers with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources were responding to assess the situation.

Bears are very good climbers, and these four will likely climb down and walk away when they’re ready, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Chief of Wildlife Gray Anderson said. "From what I've been told, a momma bear and three very healthy young cubs have made their way up a tree in a residential neighborhood,” Anderson said. "Our expectation is, if we leave them alone they’ll climb down and go back to their natural habitat." (More Virginia stories.)

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