Construction company and contractor Webber responsible for dumping bear carcass in Arlington

This dead black bear was found in a plastic bag in Arlington, Virginia. (Courtesy Sonia Nayar)

The Virginia Department of Transportation has named the contractor responsible for throwing a bear carcass that ended up near an Arlington, Virginia, trail off an overpass.

VDOT confirmed to WTOP that Webber, which has an office in Fairfax County, was the contractor involved and the company has a five-year, $23.5 million contract with the department through June 2027. The department said it will continue to work with Webber for other tasks agreed upon in the contract.

According to VDOT spokesperson Ellen Kamilakis, the department’s contractors inspect ongoing and completed work including paving, light and sign installation, cleaning of ditches, debris removal, tree trimming and mowing. They also perform short-term traffic control.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington said Monday it had learned the bear had been struck by a vehicle on Interstate-66 in Prince William County, and contractors took the bear carcass to Arlington, where they “illegally dumped the bear over an overpass onto the Custis Memorial Trail.”

A woman walking the trail with her son and their dog Friday discovered the bear’s decomposing body.

“I pulled my dog back and got a little closer, but not too close. And I saw something sticking out of the bag that I could tell was hair and an ear. But at that moment, I was like, ‘hair and ear of what?’” Arlington resident Sonia Nayar told WTOP.

Nayar ended up calling the police.

AWLA said it is working with the Department of Wildlife Resources to determine if charges will be filed against Webber for what it called “egregious behavior.”

In a statement to WTOP, a Webber spokesperson said “a mistake was made,” and the company is investigating what happened.

“We take this matter seriously and are investigating,” the spokesperson said. “We will work closely with VDOT and will ensure our employees receive the retraining they may need.”

Webber was founded in 1963 and has completed construction projects around the country. The company established an office in Fairfax County in recent years.

WTOP’s Joshua Barlow contributed to this report.

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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