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Romania: protective mama bear, cubs cut off Dracula's castle

Associated Press logo Associated Press 10/06/2017
FILE - In this in this Sept. 2002 file photo, a bear receives sweets from a shop owner on the outskirts of Brasov, Romania. On Saturday, June 10, 2017 the website of a fortress connected to Vlad the Impaler announced that Romanian authorities closed the 13th Century fortress after a mother bear and her cubs were found roaming the area. Romania is home to between 5,000 and 6,000 brown bears. (AP Photo/Octavian Tibar, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this in this Sept. 2002 file photo, a bear receives sweets from a shop owner on the outskirts of Brasov, Romania. On Saturday, June 10, 2017 the website of a fortress connected to Vlad the Impaler announced that Romanian authorities closed the 13th Century fortress after a mother bear and her cubs were found roaming the area. Romania is home to between 5,000 and 6,000 brown bears. (AP Photo/Octavian Tibar, File)

BUCHAREST, Romania — 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.

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