Rabid Bear Killed in Western Albemarle

A couple of guys fended off a rabid black bear at Royal Orchard Farm on Tuesday, NBC-29 reports. (The Progress has a somewhat longer story.) The men were in a Gator—a small, open utility vehicle—when the bear attacked the vehicle, and then came after then. Armed with a shotgun loaded with birdshot, reasonably enough during spring turkey season, one of them shot the bear point-blank in the head. Said noggin was sent off to a state lab, where it was confirmed that the bear had rabies.

Royal Orchard is the farm of the Scott family (as in Scott Stadium), located just off 64 on the way up to Afton. When driving up the long, slow grade to Rockfish Gap, at one point a bridge goes over the interstate at a crazy angle. That’s Royal Orchard Drive, a road that exists solely to connect their farm to Route 250. The house is an honest-to-God castle. The Shenandoah National Park was built around the estate, because the family had the money and the political power to keep the federal government from seizing their land and from building Skyline Drive within their viewshed.

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