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Bear killed after accessing, damaging locked car

COS reminds public to never store food in vehicles

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Another bear was killed in Whistler Tuesday, Oct. 20 after it broke into a locked vehicle.

Looking for food that was locked in the trunk, the adult male bruin smashed the car window and ripped through the backseat of a car parked on Blackcomb Way.

"We’re not talking about a bear just opening a door and accessing a wrapper, but a bear that’s spending a lot of time in the vehicle and creating a lot of property damage," said conservation officer Simon Gravel. "(The bears) are very, very hungry and they will be persistent."

The bear was not tagged and its history of conflict was unknown to the Conservation Officer Service (COS), although Gravel said it had accessed garbage around the village in the days leading up to the break-in and had been hazed by officers several times.

"That level of property damage, in addition to the bear’s behaviour, the difficulty to haze him and his persistence to access food in the village and surrounding areas met the threshold ... to kill him," explained Gravel.

A total of six bears have been killed by the COS and RCMP during a season where Whistler's bruins are struggling to fatten up before hibernation with a weak autumn berry crop.

The incident was a stark reminder of how important it is for the public to go to extreme lengths to secure possible attractants.

"We’re asking people to be extremely diligent in securing food and garbage in a place that’s impossible to access," Gravel urged. "A trunk in a vehicle is not a secure place and can lead to extensive property damage and a bear’s destruction."

Bear Smart recently launched a new initiative aimed at "solving the Whistler trash dilemma" by helping residents organize community carpools to the Function Junction or Nesters waste depot to drop off garbage.

To arrange a ride, or for more information, visit www.bearsmart.com/4theloveofbears.

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