CODY, Wyo. (AP) — Officials closed a land preserve north of Cody after they observed grizzly bears being more active than normal and venturing to lower elevations.

The Nature Conservancy closed its Heart Mountain Ranch Preserve and the associated hiking trail for the first time since purchasing the property in 1999.

A communications director for TNC said the nonprofit thought it best to err on the side of safety and caution.

Grizzly activity is common in April, when the species emerges from hibernation and begins looking for food. But the bears have been venturing farther afield this year.

State Game & Fish Department large carnivore expert Luke Ellsbury says cubs should begin leaving their dens in about a week. He advised people to keep their guard up.