Problem Bear Leads to Glacier Park Campground Closure

By Beacon Staff

Glacier National Park officials have temporarily closed Rising Sun campground due to recent incidents involving a black bear. The campground will remain closed while rangers haze the animal.

Recent conflicts with the bear at the Rising Sun campground, located on the east of the park, prompted the temporary closure. The most recent incident occurred early Sunday morning when the small, sub-adult black bear approached and laid on the corner of a tent occupied by sleeping campers. The campers awoke, started yelling and saw the bear running away from the tent.

Visitors have reported two other incidents in the campground and surrounding area within the past month that are all thought to be related to the same bear, park officials announced in a press release Monday.

Another incident involved the bear snatching a pillow from a sleeping camper, and the other incident involved the bear rifling through some clothing located along the lakeshore.

No one has been injured in any of the incidents.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 6, the entire campground will be closed to all camping. All campers are being provided an opportunity to relocate to another campground within the park.

It does not appear that the bear is looking for a food reward, or that it has received one, but it is learning to approach and handle human materials, according to the news release.

“Park rangers and wildlife managers will conduct aversive conditioning, or negative reinforcement, to attempt to modify the bear’s behavior,” the release states. “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 was recently sighted in the area as well. Since a trap will be used, and it may capture the grizzly bear, all 83 sites of the campground will be temporarily closed for visitor and bear safety.

For updated information, visit the park’s campground status page or contact the park at 406-888-7800.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.