Keyhole Hot Springs closed until further notice

Provincial officials have closed the access trails to Keyhole Falls Hot Springs — northwest of Pemberton — indefinitely because of numerous aggressive black bears and grizzly bears with cubs in the area.

The bears have become food conditioned due to garbage left by visitors to the area, according to a release on the Squamish Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) website.

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“Recreation areas need to be free of these types of attractants for a period of time, or the bears will start to permanently associate the area with food,” the website said. “Unfortunately, any visits are potentially dangerous and will ultimately encourage bears to stay in the area.”

A bear charged at least one person, prompting the closure. Warning signs were posted in the area several weeks ago, but they were illegally removed, officials said.

Natural resource officers and conservation officers will be enforcing the closure and issuing tickets of $115. Leaving wildlife attractants like food and garbage behind in the wilderness can also earn you a $345 fine.

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