The Conservation Officer Service says a black bear in Whistler that has charged multiple people and attacked a woman on Sunday, April 1st will have to be destroyed.

On Tuesday afternoon The Resort Municipality of Whistler issued a bear alert, informing the public of a bear that is currently considered to be a serious threat to public safety. The bear that was already tagged (meaning it has previously been captured and released) was accessing garbage on Clifftop Lane in Millers Pond when a woman left her property and encountered the bear, which charged her and injured her leg. The injuries were considered minor and were a result of the bear’s claws.

Sargent Simon Gravel with the BC Conservation Officers Service says the bear has charged multiple people and was very protective, which he says is “pretty rare”. Warm weather is contributing to early sightings according to Gravel who says it’s “imperative” that the public secures all attractants. That includes bird feeders, and dirty recycling, which he says has also become an issue. The message is that if you have a garage, or secure place to store your garbage, organics and recycling please use it.

Officers did not destroy the bear on Sunday as there was concern about discharging a firearm in a residential area. Three traps have been set and two Conservation Officers will be stationed in Whistler to conduct patrols until further notice.

Gravel urges the public to use caution, and that if you see a large black bear with an ear tag to not approach it. He says even those who have extensive knowledge and history with bears in the region were shocked by the bear’s reactions. The public is asked to report all wildlife sightings to the 24/7 provincial Report All Poachers & Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277. Reporting conflicts early means officers can intervene and educate the public to prevent further confrontation and the need for lethal force.

An investigation into the incident has been launched by the Conservation Officer Service in collaboration with Whistler’s Bylaw Department.


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