BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK (KMID/KPEJ)- Big Bend National Park has announced that beginning at noon on Friday, the Chisos Basin Campground and Chisos Basin Group Campground will close to public use until further notice. This emergency closure is in response to “significantly increased bear activity” within the campground area.

Over the last two weeks, bears have moved from the Window Trail into the campground itself, feeding on mesquite beans, a natural food source. The bears have reportedly become territorial and have shown signs of aggression while prowling for the food.

The Park said in a release, “To keep these bears wild and safe, limiting human food sources and bear-human interactions is paramount.  As such, the campground will be closed until the bears move on to other natural food sources.”

All incoming reservations have been cancelled or relocated and the park is working to accommodate displaced campers. 

Big Bend Superintendent Bob Krumenaker said, “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. 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.”