YOSEMITE VILLAGE, CA—Claiming their responsibility to protect the lives of visitors and employees outweighs any potential inconvenience, officials announced Monday that Yosemite National Park would be closed indefinitely following a confirmed black bear sighting in the park’s Hodgdon Meadow region. “We’ve made an executive decision to shut down all park activities until the bear can be found and killed,” said Yosemite park ranger Derek Osman, clarifying that all campers had been escorted from the park, with more remote climbers and hikers evacuated via helicopter, immediately after the bear was first sighted. “We’re not sure if the bear is male or female, or how old the bear is, but we know it’s a bear, and that’s enough. You don’t want to mess with a bear, believe me. Everyone in the vicinity needs to use serious caution because this thing is on the loose somewhere in an area nearly the size of Rhode Island.” Yosemite officials confirmed that if attempts to find and tranquilize the bear with a rifle dart fail, they would smoke the bear out by setting the park’s entire 1,170 square miles ablaze.
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