Mama bear and three cubs take a nap in the trees of the Virginia neighborhood

A mother black bear and three cubs were found napping in a tree in a coastal Virginia neighborhood early Monday morning, then came back down on their own late that evening, according to local wildlife officials.

Police officers blocked nearby streets throughout the day and members of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources remained nearby in case action was required, Chesapeake Animal Services said Monday in a Facebook post.

Animal services, which are part of the city’s police department, have advised residents of the neighborhood to stay in their homes until the situation is properly assessed.

“Black bears can be unpredictable, especially when sows (mothers) are having young. This is an extremely stressful situation for bears, so it is important to stay away from the area. This includes walking past the site, ”Animal Services wrote on Facebook.


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Roads have also been blocked to “give them space and encourage them to move,” the department wrote, and “the bears will come down when it is calm and calm and people stop trying to approach. of them “.

Journalists and spectators reportedly got as close to the bears as possible without breaking police security barriers.

Authorities were first informed of a possible bear sighting on aptly named Bruin Drive in Chesapeake, Va., Around 2 a.m. Monday, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

“It’s not uncommon for bears to climb trees at all,” Gray Anderson, wildlife chief for the Virginia DWR, told the Virginian-Pilot. “It is also against popular belief that bears go into hibernation in coastal areas like this. “

“Our expectation is that if we leave them alone, they will descend and return to their natural habitat,” he added.

In one second Facebook post On Monday evening, Chesapeake Animal Services said the bears descended the tree safely around midnight.

“Update: Mama Bear and three babies came down from the tree alone and moved around midnight,” the department wrote. “Life is a bear sometimes.”

Bear sightings in the area are not uncommon, but the appearance of bears in Chesapeake, a busy residential area, is unusual.

Last year, two bear sightings were reported in nearby Virginia Beach, and another was reported at wander frequently a neighborhood in Suffolk, Virginia “at least twice a day”.


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Jennifer R. Strohm