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Contact: Mark Sturm, 907-246-2120
Katmai National Park & Preserve, Brooks Camp, Alaska – On August 9, 2018 at approximately 6:50 p.m., two Alaska residents and one out of state visitor entered the closed area below Brooks Falls approaching multiple bears that were actively feeding on a concentrated food source.
In doing so, the group violated National Park Service wildlife viewing regulations, putting themselves and wildlife at risk. Immediately after the incident, Katmai rangers received multiple reports from concerned visitors and explore.org bear cam viewers who observed the violations. The group was contacted by park rangers and charges are pending. Details on identities will be released when charges are finalized.
“People need to recognize that these are wild brown bears. These visitors are lucky that they escaped the situation without injury. The possible consequences for the bears and themselves could have been disastrous,” said Mark Sturm, Superintendent.
In Katmai, approaching within 50 yards of a bear using a concentrated food source, like migrating or spawning salmon, is prohibited. Because of concentrated bear activity at Brooks Falls, area closures are in place from June 15 through August 15, in order to allow bears access to essential food resources that allow them to survive through the winter. These closures help prevent negative bear-human interactions.
Katmai National Park and Preserve provides elevated viewing platforms at Brooks Camp to facilitate a safer atmosphere for thousands of visitors from around the world to observe wild brown bears in their natural environment. The park relies on visitors to adhere to park regulations to protect themselves and bears.
For more information about bear safety at Brooks Camp, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/katm/planyourvisit/bear-safety-brooks-camp.htm