PANTHER JUNCTION VISITOR CENTER TEMPORARY CLOSURE
The Panther Junction Visitor Center will be closed Tuesday May 28 and Wednesday May 29 for needed maintenance. Information, backcountry permits, and entrance fee payments can be taken care of at the Chisos Basin Visitor Center.
Mexican Black Bears
Black Bears Return!
By the time the park was established in 1944, however, there were virtually no resident bears in the park. Shooting and trapping by ranchers, federal predator control agents, and recreational hunters, and loss of habitat due to settlement and development contributed to their decline. Individual bears occasionally wandered in and out of the park from Mexico, but only scattered sightings were reported from the 1940s through the 1980s. In 1969, and again in 1978, female bears with cubs were seen in the Chisos Mountains. Still, bears were extremely rare in the park.
The recolonization of black bears in Big Bend is a remarkable natural event. Researchers do not know exactly why the bears returned, but it is due in part to the preservation and restoration of habitat in the park.
Did You Know?
Big Bend has the best representation of late Cretaceous dinosaur fossils of all the National Parks. More...