(July 1, 2018) — Visitors to Glacier National Park are well aware of the grizzly bear population and usually do their best to stay clear of the powerful animals. But when bears enter campgrounds, a red flag goes up, which just happened.
Effective immediately, the Many Glacier Campground will temporarily be limited to hard-sided camping, according to a press release from Glacier National Park. This means that tents and soft-sided campers will not be permitted until further notice. Camper vehicles such as VW buses and pickup trucks with small canvas pop-ups are allowed as long as the canvas is not exposed.
On Friday at 10:30 a.m., a small grizzly bear weighing approximately 150 pounds entered the Many Glacier Campground. It crossed a stream, entered a campsite and compelled two campers to move away from a picnic table where they were cleaning two recently caught Brook Trout. One of the campers sprayed the bear with bear spray from a distance of 15 feet. The spray was unsuccessful in deterring the bear’s approach, and it proceeded to climb on top of the picnic table and consume the fish. It also sniffed, pawed and bit two nearby backpacks.
Park rangers responded and used hazing techniques to encourage the bear to move out of the campground. Prior to its departure, it dug into two fire pits, sniffed picnic tables, a tent and an RV with visitors inside.