A black bear was destroyed in Whistler on Friday after repeatedly breaking into a resident’s garage.

Inspector Murray Smith with the Conservation Officer Service says over three a week period the male bear that was at least five years old broke into a garage in Whistler Cay Heights four times. He says the homeowner was storing their garbage correctly in the garage; “The bear tore out panels on the garage, it was a wood framed garage door, and so the bear tore the panels out and broke in. The homeowner repaired the panels and the bear continued to break through the garage and access the garbage over a continuous period.”

The RCMP was brought in for assistance as the bear was in the garage which was attached to a house. It’s also believed the same bear accessed another nearby building. Smith says the bear hadn’t been tagged before, but when they see this type of re-occurrence on an ongoing basis at the same location, and a bear starts accessing peoples houses, it’s a red light for them.

Residents are being advised to wash out garbage cans with bleach or ammonia on a weekly basis and line them with plastic bags as well as using a secure lid. This creates levels of odour protection so that a bear can’t smell the contents. Smith says; “We can’t let our guard down, because bears aren’t true hibernators, they do come out of their hibernation period and then go back into it. The last thing we want is a bear coming out and then finding a reward.”

He says it’s a terrible situation when any of their staff have to take the life of a bear, and that it’s so important that everyone continues to do their part to educate their neighbours and community.

The Conservation Officer Service (COS) is urging the public to continue to call them. If you call, the COS can get to the situation early and use early intervention techniques such as rubber bullets and bean bags, and give the bears a bad experience when they get close to a neighbourhood, before they get into one. Smith says Once a bear is in a neighbourhood they don’t want to leave and that’s when they get into continuous problems. If the public can call, COS can get out there, use early intervention and use resources like WildsafeBC Community Coordinators and community partners.

If you see a bear, you can contact the COS at 1-877-952-7277.


Photo Credit: werner22brigitte / Pixabay.com

Filed under: Bear, Conservation Officer Service, RMOW, Whistler, WildSafeBC