Mother bear, 3 cubs spotted in neighborhood tree; residents warned

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Four bears sit in a tree on Bruin Drive in Chesapeake on Dec. 27, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Kim Ivory)

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Bruin Drive in Chesapeake, Virginia, was living up to its name Monday morning.

A momma bear and three cubs were spotted hanging out in a tree down the street from Western Branch High School, home of the Bruins — a word that means bears.

WAVY viewer Kim Ivory, who sent in photos showing the bears high up in the tree, said they’d been there since at least 3 a.m. Monday.

At 10:40 a.m., police and Chesapeake Animal Services were at the scene. They asked residents to stay in their homes and for the general public to stay away while they work to safely remove the bears.

“Black bears can be unpredictable, especially when sows (mothers) have cubs,” the city wrote online. “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.”

Typically, crews will tranquilize the bears and then release them into the Great Dismal Swamp, located in the Coastal Plain Region of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Four bears sit in a tree on Bruin Drive in Chesapeake on Dec. 27, 2021 (Photo courtesy of Kim Ivory)

Bears are not uncommon in Chesapeake/Suffolk due to their proximity to the swamp, but Bruin Drive is some distance away and across I-664 in a busy residential area. Typically, bears in Chesapeake are found around the Deep Creek area adjacent to the swamp.

Last year, there were at least two bear sightings in Virginia Beach, while one bear frequently roamed a Suffolk neighborhood.

**Video below shows past WAVY coverage of a bear found in a tree.

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