A wildlife alert has been issued in Squamish following sightings of a grizzly bear.

The District of Squamish and the Conservation Officer Service say two sightings of a grizzly were reported on the evening of August 1st. The sightings occurred along the confluence of the Mamquam and Squamish Rivers and south along the Squamish River dike and estuary.

Sargent Simon Gravel with the BC Conservation Officers Service says they patrolled the area on Thursday but could not see any evidence of a grizzly, however they did receive multiple reports describing the bear. Gravel says the bear could turn out to be misidentified as a black bear, however it is good news that the grizzly population is increasing; “the likelihood that we will encounter grizzly bears around Squamish or Whistler is getting higher and higher… it comes with some responsibility of course, and some awareness”. He says its always a good opportunity to raise the awareness and provide education to the public of what to do when you encounter a grizzly.


Photo: Supplied / District of Squamish


A sighting was first reported in the evening of July 23rd, but Conservation Officers were unable to verify the account from the public and could not confirm if the sighting was in fact a grizzly. They say it was also an unlikely location for one to show up.

The District says the area will not be closed at this time, but that the location and situation is being monitored closely. Conservation Officers say the area is large with lots of entry points, and that grizzlies travel a lot, making it almost impossible to close.

The public is reminded not to camp where you are not supposed to. “There’s good reason why you cannot camp in some locations, one of those is to avoid conflict with wildlife.” says Gravel. Those who are illegally camping in the area will be asked to leave.


Photo: Tim Cyr


The public is being asked to exercise a high level of caution in the area. Dogs must be on leash and the public are advised to not bike or run in the area, and to not walk alone.

Its been a number of years since a grizzly was captured and relocated from Squamish. “We do strongly believe that every year we do have visitors [grizzlies], they’re not always seen, but they are here” says Gravel.

Bear sightings can be reported to the Conservation Officer Service’s 24/7 Hotline at 1-877-952-7277. For bear safety tips click here.


Filed under: Bear, Conservation Officer Service, District of Squamish, Grizzly Bear, Squamish, Wildlife