2nd bear killed on Chilkoot Trail, park is open with restrictions

'This is a bear that had approached the camp on numerous occasions, was comfortable in an area that people are working and sleeping and living and was slow to leave to leave the area when people tried to scare it off.'

'This is a bear that had approached the camp on numerous occasions,' superintendent says

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail was closed last week after a bear broke into a cooking shelter. The Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site runs 53 kilometres from the trailhead near Skagway, Alaska, to Bennett Lake in B.C. (Philippe Morin)

Parks Canada officials have destroyed a second black bear along the Chilkoot Trail.

"This is a bear that had approached the camp on numerous occasions, was comfortable in an area that people are working and sleeping and living and was slow to leave the area when people tried to scare it off," said park superintendent Jeni Rudisill.

The Canadian side of the trail was closed last week after a bear broke into a Parks Canada patrol cabin at Lindeman City. The Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site runs 53 kilometres from the trailhead near Skagway, Alaska, to Bennett Lake in B.C.  

For safety reasons, hikers were evacuated from the trail and the Canadian side of the route was closed. One black bear was killed last Wednesday. Evidence was inconclusive on whether that was the bear that broke into the cabin.

Rudisill says the investigation continues now that a second bear has been destroyed.

Bears being fed? 

Rudisill says it's unusual to have problematic bears at their camps.

"Over the last 30 years, we've never had a bear break into any of our facilities on the trail," says Rudisill. "We very actively manage food and our camps and we've never had a problem like this."

Rudisill says they believe the bears that they're dealing with now have been habituated to humans and conditioned to seeking out human food.

"We are aware that there have been habituated and possible food-conditioned bears along the South Klondike Highway in recent weeks, outside of the park," says Rudisill.

Parks Canada officials have re-opened the trail with restrictions.

Hikers must travel in groups of at least four adults and carry bear spray from Happy Camp to Bennett.