- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have closed a trail and a backcountry shelter due to aggressive bear activity.

A statement from the park says the Mt. Le Conte shelter and trails to the popular Cliff Tops area are closed until further notice.

The statement says trails to the summit of Mt. Le Conte are still open, but hikers should take precautions by staying in groups of three or more and carrying bear spray.

The closure comes after a ranger encountered an aggressive bear near the trail to Cliff Tops. Despite the trained ranger’s attempts to scare the bear off, the animal approached him repeatedly and followed him to LeConte Lodge before retreating into the woods.

Wildlife employees have been stationed at the site to monitor the situation.

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