It has been a rough summer for bears, with three more killed in highway accidents this weekend in the Whistler and Pemberton area.
First, one was killed on Friday evening near Cougar Mountain in Whistler. Two more were killed, Sunday and Monday nights, near Pemberton.
The Whistler bear was a female cub of the year and was estimated to be about 30 pounds in weight. She died instantly after being hit by a vehicle.
“It is really strange,” said Conservation Officer Dean Miller, who attended the scene of the Whistler accident.
“More bears have been killed this way by highway accidents than we have put down through break and enter bears and whatnot.”
Miller estimated that significantly more bears have been killed this year in road accidents than last year. A total of seven bears have been killed in highway accidents in Whistler alone in the past three months.
Some of the reasons why this might be the case, according to Miller, include young bears being pushed towards the highway by older bears, as well as a higher-than-normal bear population this summer in Whistler.
“We definitely are in a population spike here. Or we’re verging on it, like next year could kind of be a big year,” he explained.
Miller was not able to say whether other communities in B.C. have faced similar problems this summer with bears killed on hightways.
“It is definitely worth the ministry investigating it, because you know, it just seems higher than typical,” he added.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident with a bear, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.