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Rest area closed due to bear

UPI News Service, 06/08/2010 

A rest area in Elma, Wash., was closed due to the presence of a black bear in a nearby tree, state transportation officials said.

Kelly Stowe of the state Department of Transportation said the Highway 8 rest area was closed at 5 p.m. Sunday due to the bear's position in a tree between the parking area for trucks and the restrooms, KOMO-TV, Seattle, reported Tuesday.

"The bear is still there," Stowe said. "It's up in a tree, and so our maintenance crews are out -- they've cordoned off the area."

The state Department of Fish & Wildlife said officers can't remove the bear because it could fall from the tree and injure itself if hit with a tranquilizer dart.

"My best advice if you're heading eastbound on State Route 8 is to use the facilities at home before you go or wait until you pass the rest area -- because until the bear is out of the area they're not going to open it up to the public," Stowe said.

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