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Dead pack animal prompts trail closure

11:42 pm September 17th, 2012

To help hikers avoid possible run-ins with bears and mountain lions, the Laughingwater Creek Trail in Mount Rainier National Park is closed until at least Sept. 19.

Park officials said the closure from the trailhead at State Route 123 to the ranger cabin at Three Lakes could be extended until further notice.

On Sept. 5, a pack animal died on the trail of natural causes. The carcass was moved off the trail, but it may attract large predators such as bears or mountain lions, creating hazards for hikers, officials said. Rangers planned to monitor the trail before deciding when to reopen it. Updates are available at www.nps.gov/mora.

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