Big Bend National Park closes campground ‘until further notice’ due to more bear activity

“Right now, the bears are hungry and a bit testy and we’re going to give them the space they need.”

File image of a black bear (Pixabay)

A campground at Big Bend National Park is closed to the public due to increased bear activity.

This comes just a few weeks after the park also closed Window Trail in the Chisos Basin for the same reason.

Park officials said the Chisos Basin Campground and Chisos Basin Group Campground will be under emergency closures beginning at 12 p.m., Friday, to keep the bears and park visitors safe.

“Over the course of the last two weeks, the bears have moved from the Window Trail into the campground itself, feeding on mesquite beans, a natural food source. Due to the abundance of mesquite beans in the campground, the bears have become territorial and shown signs of aggression. To keep these bears wild and safe, limiting human food sources and bear-human interactions is paramount,” park officials said in a news release.

The campground will remain closed until the bears “move on to other natural food sources” and bear activity has declined to “normal levels,” the park said.

All incoming reservations at the campground have either been canceled or relocated.

“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,” Big Bend Superintendent Bob Krumenaker said.

Park visitors are not allowed to enter the area, even on foot. Doing so is considered a violation of federal regulations.

There’s no set date yet for when the campground or the trail will reopen.

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About the Authors:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.