News » Whistler

Bear destroyed in Whistler after swatting man in hot tub

Necropsy to be done on aggressive animal



The RCMP destroyed an aggressive bear after the animal attacked a man in a hot tub on Sunday afternoon on Casabella Crescent.

According to the RCMP, a 55-year-old male from Coquitlam was relaxing in the hot tub outside his unit when a heavy blow to the back of his head knocked him forward. He turned around to see the cause and saw the bear, described as a large adult male.

He yelled at the bear and quickly retreated back into the residence where he called the RCMP. The RCMP attended and located the bear 100 metres away where it had walked into a wooded area close to Highway 99. Given the nature of the attack the RCMP destroyed the bear, which was then given to the B.C. Conservation Service for a medical examination. An necropsy will be performed to try and determine the reason for the bear's unusual behaviour.

The Coquitlam man was injured with lacerations to the back of his head, and taken to the Whistler Health Care Centre where he was treated and released.

“When a bear makes contact with a person in any way it’s our job to make sure we’ve followed up every possible avenue,” said Sgt.Peter Busink of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

“One is to have a necropsy done and to best determine what might be the motivation behind the attack. So right now we have the bear carcass in a lab in Abbotsford, and we’re just waiting for those results.”

Busink confirmed that it was a large adult bear. It was not tagged, so it likely had no prior issues with human conflict that would have resulted in the bear being tranquilized and given an ear tag.

Bear tranquilized at Squamish family event

A young male bear, maybe two years old, was tranquilized and relocated after wandering into the middle of the “Day Out with Thomas,” at West Coast Railway Park on Sunday.

There were hundreds of people present to meet the Thomas the Tank Engine characters from the children’s show Thomas and Friends, when the bear appeared. It did not act aggressively, and as a result was tranquilized by conservation officers.

“There was a bit of a public safety concern in terms of the number of people and the location that the bear was in, so the conservation officer tranquilized the bear,” said Sgt.Peter Busink of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. “It was also not tagged, so we were able to tag the bear before we release it today (Monday) via a short distance relocation.”

No further cougar sightings>p>

The local conservation office has not received any further reports of cougars in Whistler, following the most recently sighting near the village on May 29. If you do see a cougar, the conservation officer service would like to hear your report at their 24-hour line, 1-877-952-9277.

Public asked to minimize conflicts

Residents in Sea to Sky are reminded that bears are now out of hibernation and to take care to secure their homes against bears.

“Bears are out of hibernation and very hungry, and it’s up to people to make sure they’re managing attractants,” said Sgt.Peter Busink of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. “Secure yards, clean up barbecues, put away bird feeders — it’s important that people do that to maintain the health and safety of the bears and the public.”