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Black bear killed after wandering into pair of Whistler homes

Conservation officers say the animal posed a public safety risk after ‘pushing in’ door, feeding on household garbage
Conservation officers said a black bear posed a risk to public safety after it entered two homes.

A black bear is dead after it was caught feeding on garbage inside an Alpine Meadows home last weekend.

A wildlife notice posted to the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (RMOW) website Wednesday morning, Oct. 4 confirmed members of Sea to Sky RCMP and the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) jointly responded to reports of a bear intrusion on Saturday, Sept. 30. Upon arrival at the home, officials found a black bear inside the house, eating household trash it located. It had reportedly caused property damage.

The animal matched the description of another black bear witnesses saw entering another residence in Emerald one week prior, by “pushing in the front door,” according to the wildlife notice.

Conservation officers made the call to kill the animal in response to heightened public safety risks associated with the bear potentially entering another home. 

The Sept. 30 incident serves as a reminder to residents and visitors that Whistler’s bears are still active, even as temperatures drop. Black bears typically enter a phase called “hyperphagia” this time of year, where they’ll go to greater lengths to find food as they prepare to settle into their winter dens.

“Keeping doors and windows closed when residents are not in a position to immediately close them when a bear appears on the property, mitigates the risk of a bear entering homes,” the wildlife alert reads.

Locals who notice a bear regularly lingering around their property are encouraged to call COS at 1-877-952-7277. Deterring black bears from residential properties before they can find attractants lowers the animal’s risk of becoming a public safety threat. 

It’s the fourth black bear killed in Whistler this year, and the second in a matter of weeks. 

Conservation officers in Whistler killed an adolescent black bear on Sept. 13 with "an extensive history of conflict.” Officials reportedly relocated the bear on two separate occasions after it was seen approaching people for food. 

In July, another young black bear was killed after reportedly accessing several Whistler homes—in some cases, where people were still inside—over a two-day span. COS shot and killed an elderly, emaciated bear near the day lots after it was spotted bluff-charging people in and around the village in late April.