UPDATE: On Tuesday, July 2, Parks Canada says the closure will continue until further notice
A popular South Shore hiking spot will be shut down over the Canada Day long weekend.
Kejimkujik National Park Seaside will be closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday due to increased black bear activity in the St. Catherine's area.
Tuesday's status is still to be determined as Parks Canada says the safety measures will stay in place until there's more food in the woods and the bears move away from the shoreline.
"Human and wildlife safety is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada," it said in a news release. "Parks Canada takes action to promote coexistence between people and wildlife, to ensure the well-being and safety of both."
For anyone planning a visit today, the park superintendent has put some restrictions in place.
Keji Seaside will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 28, and those planning to hike must travel in groups of at least 3 people. Noise makers, such as whistles or bells, are mandatory and bear spray is recommended. Domestic pets will not be allowed on the trails.
Parks Canada adds, if you see a bear, give it space.
"Safety before selfies – keep wildlife out of the picture."
If a visitor has a close encounter with a black bear at Kejimkujik Seaside they are advised to:
- Face the animal
- Make noise
- Raise arms to make yourself look bigger
- Back off slowly
- Report the incident to the Parks Canada Duty Officer at 902-682-2598
The closure does not impact Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, which will have Canada Day camping, programs and events all weekend long.