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Bear breaks into multiple cars in Whistler

It might look like winter, but bears aren't all hibernating yet, COS warns
A bear has been breaking into vehicles in Whistler, but, in some cases, it's just leaving a muddy mess behind. Photo submitted

The Conservation Officer Service (COS) is warning Whistlerites that not all bears are hibernating after one broke into around 20 vehicles recently.

The first incident happened on Nov. 26 in the Rainbow neighbourhood. Some time overnight the bear opened six unlocked cars doors and, in at least one case, found a food reward.

“Two nights later, we received several reports of numerous cars being opened by a bear in Alpine and Emerald,” said conservation officer Brittany Mueller. “There have been reports of damages in some of those vehicles, but in most cases the bear is opening the door, inspecting the inside and, if there’s no reward, it will leave and go on to the next car.”

As long as bears can find a food source, they won’t hibernate, she added.

To that end, COS is advising all residents to lock their car doors, close the windows, and ensure that there’s no trace of any food or any item with smell in the vehicle.

“Because it’s food driven and has had some success breaking into vehicles, we have to be extra diligent,” Mueller added.

“This bear knows what it’s looking for now.”

While COS had been hopeful the bear might go into hibernation, that hasn’t yet been the case. They ask anyone who spots it to call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

On top of keeping your car free of attractants, locals should also ensure there are no attractants around their home.  

“This is still bear season,” Mueller said. “We can’t get careless now.”

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