The first black bear of the season was destroyed Monday after breaking into a van in Alpine Meadows loaded with garbage.
Conservation officer Chris Doyle said the garbage wasn’t stored in the van; rather, the owner was in the process of loading up the van and taking the garbage to the compactor site.
The bear, which had been targeting cars and homes recently with an aim to find food, had been engaging in “high-risk activity”. There were reports it was bluff charging people as well.
“The conflict level was at the extreme end where it was entering occupied homes with people in them,” said Doyle. “Any bear that’s entering homes is a public safety risk. That’s the reason it got shot.”
The five-year-old male was radio collared over Easter weekend in Whistler Cay. In the past three weeks he was breaking into cars and homes on a regular basis around Nesters and Alpine Meadows. He managed to evade several traps.
Doyle said they had no conflict history on the five-year-old male prior to this spring’s activity.
“Some of the issues that led to the bear’s conflict was garbage being stored in and around homes, either outside the house or in mud rooms,” he said.
“The sooner people can get their garbage to a bear-proof container or the compactor, the better.”
Nine black bears were destroyed last year in Whistler.
Bear activity in the valley has picked up in recent weeks as bears emerge from their dens and look for food.