MONTREAT, N.C. — A North Carolina hiking trail remains closed after a number of hikers and runners encountered a mother bear protecting her cubs.

WLOS-TV in Asheville reports Montreat Conference Center officials closed the trail on Rainbow Mountain on Aug. 4. Despite the closure, some hikers have been seen using the trail.

Biologist Justin McVey of the state Wildlife Resource Division said the mother bear was bluff charging. That refers to when a bear feels threatened or scared and pops their jaws, smacks the ground and possibly takes a few steps toward their perceived threat to make them go the other way.

Nine of the hikers seen using the trail on Thursday reported seeing a bear. There’s no word from the conference center on when the trail may reopen.

Information from: WLOS-TV,

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