The Conservation Officer Service (COS) says a bear has been destroyed after it had entered an occupied building in Whistler’s Upper Village on Sunday afternoon. The bear had been hazed away from the building, but had repeatedly tried to gain access.

Conservation Officer Kent Popjes says a shop building with a garage roller door was not secure, and the bear was subsequently able to enter the premises and receive a reward of someone’s lunch that was left on a table. According to the COS that was enough to encourage the bear to come back repeatedly, even though the bear was hazed out of the building aggressively by members of the public.

A trap was set and the bear was captured within 15 minutes of the trap being set. Popjes says that “unfortunately that bear had reached a threshold of public safety that was too dire for us to release it back into nature, so it was ultimately destroyed for that behaviour.”

The bear had an ear tag and been captured in 2014 suspected of being in an occupied building and receiving a reward, but was not confirmed and was released on that occasion.

Popjes is asking the public to be extra diligent; “we have a lot of bears in all our communities right now that are aggressively seeking out food sources, so everything needs to be secured. Your doors need to be, you know, locked and properly latched, and all food sources in vehicles need to be removed. Barbecues need to be burned off, the grease traps removed, bird feeders taken in, garbage secured – always. Everything you can think of to prevent a bear getting into conflict and ending up the way this last bear did”.

For bear smart tips click here, to report a wildlife sighting click here or call 1-877-952-7277.


Filed under: Bear, Bear Smart, Conservation Officer Service, Sea to Sky, Whistler