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Bears 'extraordinarily active' in New Hampshire as campground remains closed

Bear 'showing no fear of humans' causes New Hampshire campground to close
Bear 'showing no fear of humans' causes New Hampshire campground to close 00:20

BARTLETT, N.H. -- A New Hampshire campground remains closed due to a bear that has shown "no fear of humans."

The public is not allowed to enter Fourth Iron Campground in the White Mountains after Forest Service workers on Sunday spotted the black bear that had grown accustomed to receiving "food rewards" and was no longer afraid of people. Authorities said they had to cite "several parties" on Monday that "ignored the closure signs at the parking lot and entered anyway."

The Forest Service told WBZ-TV that personnel visited the area Tuesday, but did not see any bears.

"The campground will remain closed until further notice with the intention of eliminating food scent which could be a reason for the bear to remain in the area," the agency said. "The hope is that over time, the bear will leave the area and return to more natural food sources."

The campground is a walk-in tent site at the junction of the Sawyer and Saco rivers, four miles west of Bartlett.   

Bears have been "extraordinary active this year," New Hampshire Fish & Game reported to the Forest Service. One factor may the lack of rain - forcing bears to move around because their typical food sources are not as plentiful. 

The Forest Service is urging visitors to practice food storage compliance so as not to attract bears. They say it's daytime users of the campgrounds who comply the least.

"All food and beverages should always be put away when visitors are not actively dining. Leaving food or beverages in a campground unattended at any time of the day or night is a violation of food storage regulations," the agency says. "When not in active use, place all scented items such as food, toothpaste, deodorant, and beverages other than water in a hard sided vehicle or camper or in a bear resistant container."  

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