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Concern Over Habituated Bears Closes Glacier's Avalanche Creek Trail

Avalanche Lake sits at the end of the popular Avalanche Creek Trail in Glacier National Park.
Tim Raines/NPS (PD)
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Avalanche Lake sits at the end of the popular Avalanche Creek Trail in Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park officials have temporarily closed a popular trail due to increased bear activity. Officials closed Avalanche Creek Trail on the west side of the Park Monday after receiving reports of six different grizzly bears approaching people in the last week.

According to the press release, the bears are showing some signs of habituation, meaning they appear more comfortable than what is natural around humans.

Kelley Stevens is with the Public Affairs Office at Glacier National Park.

"That happens at times due to people feeding the bears, or leaving food debris," Stevens says, "and habituation is not safe, because we want bears to live in a natural environment and people to keep a safe distance."

The temporary closure will likely last several days. It is intended to give park managers the opportunity to monitor bear behavior and movement, allow the bears to move to more remote areas, and identify any additional actions. The closure is in accordance with the park’s Bear Management Plan.

Visitors should report any bear sightings or signs of bear activity to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible.

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