Aug 5, 2013 7:25 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
WEST GLACIER - Glacier National Park officials say that some recent bear sightings have prompted them to temporarily close the Rising Sun Campground.
All campers using the site on the east side of the park are being given the chance to move to another campground in the park, according to a news release.
Officials say a bear, believed to be a small sub-adult black bear, approached and laid on a corner of a tent that was occupied by sleeping campers on Sunday morning.
The campers woke up, started yelling, and then saw a black bear running from the tent. Park officials say there have been two other incidents in the campground and surrounding area within the past month, all believed to be with the same bear.
One incident involved the bear snatching a pillow from a sleeping camper, and the other incident involved the bear going through some clothing that was located along the lakeshore. The incidents included no injuries.
It appears that the bear is not looking for a food reward, or that it has received one, but it is learning to approach and handle human materials.
Park rangers and wildlife managers will now conduct "aversive conditioning" in an attempt to modify the bear's behavior.
This will include trapping the bear, tagging the bear, and conducting hazing techniques using bean bags, rubber bullets, and/or noise stimulus. It is anticipated that these conditioning actions may take a few days.
A grizzly bear has recently been seen in the area as well and park officials say since a trap will be used, it may trap the grizzly bear - so the entire campground will be temporarily closed down.
Visit the park's campground status page at or call (406) 888.7800 for more information about the Rising Sun Campground closure.
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