Mama bear & cubs at Dracula's castle in Romania, closed for visitors' safety

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (AP) - Danger lurks at Dracula's castle.

Romanian authorities have closed a 13th-century fortress connected to Vlad the Impaler after a mother bear and her cubs were found roaming in the area.

The citadel, atop a mountain in central Romania, can be reached only by climbing 1,480 steps. It was shut in late May "for the safety of visitors," its website said Saturday.

Local prefect Emilian Dragnea says the environment ministry had agreed to capture the four bears and relocate them elsewhere.  Authorities blame people for leaving food in the area.

The citadel was repaired by 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker's 1897 gothic novel "Dracula."

Bran Castle, also associated with Dracula, is a bigger tourist attraction.

Romania is home to between 5,000 and 6,000 brown bears.

© 2017 Associated Press


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