Bear and cub release GNP

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - Several bear incidents in Glacier National Park have prompted the closures of a campground and a trail. 

A press release from the park says the Hole in the Wall backcountry campground is closed temporarily. The small spur trail from the main Boulder Pass Trail to the campground is also closed. 

The Many Glacier Campground has re-opened for tent camping after park rangers were able to confirm no bear related incidents have occurred since July 14 when rangers were called in to haze two bears. 

That campground was first restricted to hard-sided camping only on July 6 after a black bear damaged property at the site. 

A separate incident occurred last Wednesday, at Rising Sun Campground. Park staff captured and relocated a different black bear and her cub after both showed little fear of humans.  

"The sow, tagged as number 324, had been frequenting Rising Sun Campground and displaying a pattern of habituated behavior. Her cub of the year also showed signs of being habituated to humans," reads the press release.

That adult bear reportedly killed an animal in the brush near the campground last week, which resulted in a temporary closure of the upper loop at the campground. 

"The following day, park resource management staff encountered bear 324 and her cub in the closed upper loop of the campground. The sow and cub travelled into the occupied loop, despite efforts to keep her out," reads the press release. "She passed through occupied tent sites, paying little attention to the presence of park staff or crowds of onlookers. The cub also stood up and pushed on a tent."

The bear and her cub were released in the North Fork district last Thursday. The location is far from campgrounds and developed areas. 

“These events demonstrate the critical role that campers play in wildlife conservation,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “While bears can wander or even live in developed areas, if we are diligent about keeping food rewards away from them, they can sometimes be relocated rather than euthanized.”

Visitors to Glacier National Park are asked to keep campgrounds and developed area clean and free of food and trash. Local residents and businesses are reminded to secure garbage, pet food, bird seed, and livestock. 

Additionally, visitors are asked to keep traffic moving and not stop along the road if bears are in the area. Park officials say "bear jams" are a hazard for people and bears. 

Hikers are reminded to travel in groups, make noise while hiking, and always have bear spray accessible. 

Trail and campground closures can be found online here.

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