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Section of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway closed after visitors interacted with bears

An eight-mile section of the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina is closed after visitors were caught “feeding and attempting to hold a young bear,” the National Park Service said in a news release.

The park service said that the decision to shut down the stretch of the national park during peak leaf peeping season comes “after multiple documented reports” of visitors engaging with a young bear at the Lane Pinnacle Overlook, which is about 12 miles northeast of downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

“We are closing this section of the road temporarily for the safety of both the bear and park visitors,” said Superintendent Tracy Swartout. 

“When people intentionally attract bears with trash and food it can lead to very dangerous situations. In this instance we want to give the bear a chance to lose interest in the area before the situation escalates and visitors or the bear are harmed.”

If you encounter a bear while on the Parkway, call 828-298-2491 or stop at the nearest Visitor Center to report the encounter.

Sarah Rumpf-Whitten is a breaking news writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business. 

She is a native of Massachusetts and is based in Orlando, Florida.

Story tips and ideas can be sent to sarah.rumpf@fox.com and on X: @s_rumpfwhitten.

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