Bear killed on Callaghan construction site 

Third bear in three weeks Conservation Officer Services has been called upon to destroy

Another day, another bear that’s had to be killed by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

This one occurred on Aug. 7 at around 1 p.m. at the Kiewit work camp on Highway 99 near the bottom of the Callaghan Valley. A large male black bear, weighing about 300 pounds, according to conservation officer Chris Doyle, entered an office building at the site and rummaged through garbage.

A female worker went into the building not knowing the bear was there. The bear then charged at her, swiped at her and caused some minor injuries, such as bruises and scratches, before taking off. The worker was taken to the Whistler Healthcare Centre by ambulance and later released.

A trap was set for the bear and it came back to the site while the Conservation Officer Service was still on location. It was then shot and its carcass will undergo a necropsy, or an autopsy for animals.

Though a common stigma about black bears is that they are shy animals, Doyle said physical encounters with humans are common when the bears are confined to small spaces.

“If the bear has a fight or flight response, even if it’s just trying to get out, if someone’s standing in its way to its exit, there’s likely to be a physical encounter,” he said in an interview with Pique .

This marks the fifth bear that has been killed by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service this season in Whistler, and the third in less than three weeks.

Conservation officer Drew Milne caught a 350-pound black bear in a trap after it broke into a house in the Brio neighbourhood and charged an RCMP officer. The bear’s corpse was given to the Squamish First Nation for “cultural purposes.”

The Conservation Officer Service was also called after a two-year-old, 75-pound black bear broke into a townhouse near Whistler Marketplace and trashed the kitchen before occupants came home. The road behind the house had to be blocked off before the bear was destroyed.

The latest bear death comes just after two bear encounters in Coquitlam, B.C. In one instance a woman was mauled by a black bear while tending to her garden. The bear entered her yard at about 9:30 a.m. and she fell to the driveway as it attacked. She was bitten on her arms and legs before nearby residents drove the animal away.

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