A bear was relocated from Brio this past weekend, and conservation officers are now counting on Whistler's human residents to do their part to keep the animal safe. The Conservation Officer Service (COS) relocated the animal on Saturday, June 24, after it was spotted accessing barbecues and getting too close to residential homes. The tagged bruin is a sibling to another bear that was killed by conservation officers in Nordic this month after it had managed to enter three vehicles in the search for food.
Conservation officers destroyed another bear this month as well after it entered the unlocked building of an adventure tour company on Blackcomb Mountain and accessed food. The COS is banking on this bear avoiding a similar fate.
"(The sow) taught those bears how to gain access to food inside of buildings, and we're really hoping we can change this bear's behaviour and use some non-lethal (techniques) to help deter him," explained Tim Schumacher with the COS.
Schumacher stressed that relocation is not a "permanent solution," and that the likelihood the animal returns to Whistler is "very high." That puts the onus on the public to ensure they're keeping their garbage and other non-natural food out of reach. "We're hopeful that we can change this other bear's behaviour and change people's behaviour in keeping attractants (secured)," said Schumacher.
The community is advised to keep their garbage and recycling in bear-proof bins, to avoid leaving food and wrappers in vehicles, and ensure other attractants, such as barbecues, bird feeders and fruit bushes, are managed properly as well.
Reports can be made to the COS by calling 1-877-952-7277. Bylaw violations in the event of attractants being left unsecured can be reported to the municipality at 604-935-8280 during the day. After hours, the RCMP can be reached at 604-932-3044.