The Auriol Trail in Kluane National Park is closed because of bear activity in the area.
A group of hikers spotted a moose carcass about two kilometres from the trail head on Saturday, said Craig McKinnon, resource conservation officer with the park.
They didn’t see any other evidence of bears or wildlife, but “they decided to turn around and head back out,” he said.
The hikers reported the sighting to the visitor centre at Sheep Mountain.
That’s when McKinnon heard about it, he said.
He went to the trail head and waited for a second group of hikers to return to their vehicle before ribboning off the trail and posting signs indicating the closure.
On Monday, conservation staff patrolled the area and confirmed that a moose carcass was in the area.
It appeared to have been killed by a bear, said McKinnon.
The trail will remain closed until the carcass can be moved and further patrols confirm that the bear has left the area.
“Even though people don’t pose an imminent danger to the animal, the animal is protective over the moose carcass, and may charge hikers walking by,” said McKinnon. “Or hikers may surprise the animal by accident.”
The trail will be closed until some time next week at the earliest, he said.
The closure is both for visitor safety and to limit disturbances to the bears.
“It’s their park, it’s their home. We try to minimize the human-bear conflicts.”
Visitors to the area can contact the visitor centre in Haines Junction or the Parks Canada website for updates.