ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WJW) – The National Park Service has closed an area in Asheville, North Carolina, after multiple reports of visitors feeding and attempting to hold a young bear.

A portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the area where the incidents took place, closed Monday until further notice.

“We are closing this section of the road temporarily for the safety of both the bear and park visitors,” said Superintendent Tracy Swartout. “When people intentionally attract bears with trash and food it can lead to very dangerous situations. In this instance, we want to give the bear a chance to lose interest in the area before the situation escalates and visitors or the bear are harmed.”

Fall is a critical time for bears as they’re trying to put on as much weight as possible before they hibernate.

A national education program developed by bear biologists called BearWise reminds people never to feed or approach a bear.