Two campgrounds at Big Bend National Park in Texas have been temporarily closed to allow black bears to forage for mesquite beans undisturbed. The National Park Service explains that the Chisos Basin Campground and Chisos Basin Group Campground are closed until further notice.
Over the last two weeks, bears have begun moving from the Window Trail (the most popular hiking route in the Chisos Mountains) to the campsites themselves.
Black bears, like most wild animals, prefer to avoid conflict and rarely attack unless threatened, but according to the NPS the animals at Big Bend have started to become territorial and show signs of aggression.
Give them space
Bears that attack humans in Texas are required by law to be euthanized, even if the person isn't seriously injured, so the park has put an emergency closure in place to protect both the animals and visitors.
"National Park biologists continue to monitor the bear activity and we will re-open the campground as soon as it declines to normal levels in this area," said Big Bend superintendent Bob Krumenaker.
"While we regret the inconvenience, protecting both the bears and park visitors is essential. Right now, the bears are hungry and a bit testy and we're going to give them the space they need to be wild bears."
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.