Authorities on the lookout for another black bear in Whistler 

Small bear is second in past week to demonstrate aggressive behaviour in search for food

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Conservation officers are on the lookout for another black bear—the second that has accessed non-natural food sources in Whistler this week.

While authorities continue to search for a large, adult bear that swatted a woman’s leg on Sunday, April 1, causing minor injuries, a second, smaller bear has been reported accessing birdfeed and charging a dog in the White Gold area.

“It’s a smaller bear, also with an ear tag,” noted Sgt. Simon Gravel with the Conservation Officer Service (COS). “We know it’s not the one involved in the attack in Bayshores, but it’s also seeking food and having some rewards with birdfeeders left out. So we keep trying to raise the awareness and make people aware that bears are out in Whistler.”

The bear has been reported as a cub, but Gravel believes the animal is a subadult, commonly categorized as between two-and-a-half and five-and-a-half years old.

Gravel added that, despite the bear’s “risky” behaviour, it has not been slated for destruction at this time.

“We’re monitoring at this point,” he relayed “We have limited information, so right now we don’t have that intent. We will monitor the situation, and things can change quickly. We just want to make sure everyone’s safe out there.”

The same can’t be said for the male bear that has been spotted in the Bayshores and Nordic areas in recent days. Along with the incident involving the woman on Cliff Top Lane near Millar’s Pond, where police observed “some garbage around the scene,” the animal also reportedly accessed non-natural food sources, like birdseed, near homes in the weeks beforehand, and bluff-charged residents when those food sources were threatened. Because of the level of food conditioning and aggressive behaviour the bear has shown, Gravel said it presents a serious threat to public safety and will be killed if captured.

The COS has placed several traps in the area since Sunday evening’s attack, and two officers remain stationed in the community.

“The messaging, generally speaking, when a bear gets a reward or accesses any food, is to keep your distance and report it to the RAPP line,” urged Gravel. “Don’t try to intervene, because bears can be very aggressive trying to protect the very limited amount of food they can find now.”

The Conservation Officer Service’s RAPP line is 1-877-952-7277. Bylaw violations in the event of attractants being left unsecured can be reported to the municipality at 604-935-8280 during business hours.

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