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Bears force officials to close Craggy Gardens area

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Blue Ridge Parkway officials have closed the popular Craggy Gardens picnic area at least until the start of the Labor Day weekend because of bears who feed on trash.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that park officials hope the bears will move out of the picnic area so it can be reopened by Friday.

Chief Ranger Steve Stinnett said officials will post signs at Craggy Gardens announcing the closure and warning the public not to feed wildlife.

He said rangers euthanized an adult male bear trying to take food from a woman’s plate on a picnic table early this month.

Rather than risk having the bear turn aggressive toward people, rangers killed the bear. Two other bears were captured and relocated to more remote sections of the Parkway.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Blue Ridge Parkway officials have closed the popular Craggy Gardens picnic area at least until the start of the Labor Day weekend because of bears who feed on trash.

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