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RMOW issues bear alert for Emerald residents

Here's a reminder to keep your cars locked and bear attractant free this spring
black bear seen accessing vehicles in Whistler's emerald estates
Whistler locals are warned to keep their cars locked and free of any garbage or attractants after a black bear was seen accessing vehicles in the north end of town.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is warning locals to be mindful after a black bear recently found its way into multiple vehicles. 

The municipality issued a bear alert Wednesday, after the Conservation Officer Service (COS) received reports of a black bear entering vehicles in the Lakeshore Drive area of Emerald Estates.

"This bear is learning that cars hold food rewards. It's up to us to stop making it easy for the bear to get into cars and potentially lead to a serious human-bear conflict," the alert read. 

Residents are reminded to refrain from leaving any food or garbage in the vehicles, including packaging, coffee cups and wrappers, and to keep car doors locked at all times. 

Late last fall, the COS similarly warned Whistlerites to keep their cars locked and free of attractants after one bear broke into around 20 vehicles in the Alpine and Emerald neighbourhoods over the span of just a few days. 

Even though bears are not as consumed by the need to find food when they're fresh out of hibernation as they are in the fall, they will be tempted by unsecured garbage, pet food, bird feeders and doorstep food deliveries, given the opportunity. Once consumed, these high-calorie foods will keep bringing bears back to homes, often contributing to their untimely and avoidable deaths. 

You can report any bear sightings in residential areas to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277. 

- With files from Luci Cadman