Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Utility workers investigating a gas leak at a Tennessee home called wildlife officials for assistance when they discovered a family of bears sleeping under the house.

The Appalachian Bear Rescue said a utility crew responded to a home in Sevier County and called the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency when they ventured under the house and were faced with "the ample caboose of a very large snoozing bear."

"The crawl space beneath a home is not a great place for a bear den, especially if there's a gas leak," the bear rescue said. "There was no way to know if the gas injured the bear, there was no way to safely repair the gas line while the bear was in residence, and there was no way to keep the home warm and habitable without repairing the gas line."

Wildlife officials arrived at the scene and were successfully able to "encourage the big bear to leave the premises," but they then discovered the bear was a mother and had left behind three young cubs.

The cubs were examined by the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and found to be in good health. They were then transferred to the Appalachian Bear Rescue, where officials said they are now hoping to find another mother bear in the wild to foster the cubs.