The Conservation Officer Service (COS) has confirmed a bear was killed in Whistler early Sunday, Nov. 30, the second bear destroyed in the resort in less than a week.
The male bear was reported in a Marketplace dumpster before conservation officers attended and destroyed it. The animal had a long history of conflict dating back to November 2013, was previously relocated four times and had been slated for destruction since early last month, when it entered a house in Blueberry.
“The bear was pushing on the door to try to get in – the level of that behaviour is obviously extreme,” said Sgt. Peter Busink with the COS.
“It was important that we capture the bear as soon as possible.”
Earlier this week the bear had also entered the storage room of the Main Street Dominos Pizza location and received a food reward, Busink added.
Authorities killed another bear on Monday, Nov. 24 when it entered a White Gold home after being attracted to a recycling box left outside. A tenant was issued a $230 fine for failing to properly secure attractants.
Although temperatures are dropping in the valley, with food sources still readily accessible, not all of Whistler’s bears have gone into hibernation, Busink explained.
“People should know there are still bears out,” he said. “They’re going to be in a state of hypherphagia and are more motivated to get food than at any other point.”
In his years of experience, Busink said he’s never had a season in Whistler where the area’s bears didn’t eventually go to den.
“I can’t express to you how hopeful we are that this will be the point where the bears go to sleep,” he added.
Yesterday’s incident marks the 11th confirmed bear death in the resort this year, although another bear was shot by police last month before escaping the scene, and is now presumed dead.
According to figures provided by the Whistler Get BearSmart Society, 252 bears have been destroyed in Whistler since 1990 as a result of largely preventable human-caused conflict. There are currently around 50 bears living in the Whistler area.
"Is this situation tolerable to Whistler residents? Are we willing to accept this as the way it is?" said BearSmart executive director Syliva Dolson last week. "If the answer is no... then people need to stand on their values and participate in the solution."
The COS urged the public once again to properly secure all their attractants, including recycling bins and bird feeders. Visit www.bearsmart.com for more information.
All wildlife encounters should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.
This article has been updated with additional information.