Spike in Bear Activity Forces Campground Closure at Glacier National Park
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Glacier National Park's St. Mary Campground has been temporarily closed as a result of increased bear activity in the area.
In a statement issued Thursday, the National Park Service said the recent rise in activity creates a "high potential for negative human/bear interactions."
So far, there have been no reported incidents. However the NPS said there's no timetable for when the campground will reopen to visitors. From Aug. 28 until Thursday's announcement, the campground had been open to hard-sided camping only.
Park officials have made attempts to haze the bears from the campground and surrounding area, but have been unsuccessful thus far.
The NPS provided a brief explanation for the increased bear activity: "At this time of year, bears are entering a phase called hyperphagia. It is a period of concentrated feeding to prepare for hibernation," the NPS said in a statement. "This year there has been an exceptionally abundant crop of a variety of berries located in the campground, attracting bears to the area. There has been a shortage of berries in other areas of the park."
Glacier National Park is home to black bears and grizzly bears, both of which can be a threat to humans.
Last month a hiker was killed by a grizzly bear in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park. Following the tragic incident, the NPS urged park visitors to travel in groups, remain on designated trails and to report any sightings to park rangers.
Visitors to Glacier National Park, specifically the area near St. Mary Campground, are encouraged to do the same.
The campground, which is located on the park's east side, made the news earlier this summer when it was under threat from wildfire.
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