‘Paddington’s cousin’ spotted in Suffolk

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SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Be on the lookout for an uninvited guest at your holiday weekend cookouts.

On Thursday, 10 On Your Side warned you about bears roaming in North Carolina, and tonight we’ve got warnings for Suffolk.

In the 5300 block of Nansemond Parkway there was a big black bear roaming around a house, and we have the pictures to prove it. 

“He strolled out almost to the road … I was thinking I must have had a lot of wine yesterday,” laughs Tracey Griffin who was driving by the house when she and her daughter Eva spotted the bear.

“It was really Eva who saw it first, so we went down the street, turned around, came back, and I parked my car in the driveway so the bear couldn’t get by,” Tracey said.. 

When Tracey stopped at the house she called  911, “911 What’s the address of your emergency,” the dispatcher said. Tracey responded, “I don’t know if this is an actual emergency … but there’s a black bear out here.” 

The dispatcher who had already received a call on the bear asked, “how close is it to the roadway?”  Tracey fired back, “It’s on the road.”

Tracey remembers, “He was a big fella. He was huge … when I turned the car around he starts heading back into the woods.” 

10 On Your Side went into the mosquito infested woods and found huge paw prints. Several of them.  They go back into the woods, but there was no sight of a bear today.”

Tracey’s daughter, Eva, is a very vocal, bright 6-year-old first grader who took a liking to the well mannered beast from the woods.

“He is a big bear like Paddington, and he looks just like Paddington, but he is black,” Eva said.

Paddington is a fictional character in children’s literature. He first appeared in October 1958 in a children’s book called “A Bear Called Paddington.” 

Eva even gave the black bear a name, “Paddington’s cousin.”  “I thought he was a nice bear … he was a nice bear because he really looked calm, and he didn’t actually walk up to the road and get in any  closer,” Eva told us.  Tracey adds to the description, “He was a lazy old guy, and she said it perfectly he was like Paddington … he didn’t know where he was at, and he didn’t know what he was doing.”

“We didn’t feel like he was going to threaten anybody. He was just really confused. He was shaking his head a little bit.”

We’re on your side with some safety reminders when it comes to bears in your neighborhood. 

Avoid attracting bears by securing your garbage, pet food, and bird seed, and remember to keep your distance and admire the wonder of Mother Nature from afar.

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