Many Black Bears have returned to the valley areas of Whistler resort during September 2015 from the Summer upper alpine areas of the mountains. Some Black Bears during the 2015 Fall season migration have engaged in very aggressive behaviour with brazen late night break-ins to gain access to human food sources. There are many Black Bears that live year-round in the Whistler resort areas which are very close to heavily human populated areas. The Fall season Black Bear community hazard is a common one that appears to be elevated during 2015 with multiple incidents during the month of September.
During one late night incident in September 2015 at a residential area of the resort, a Black Bear attacked the strata complex garbage depot door with force and broke straight through it to gain access to the human food source. The Whistler RCMP Detachment was called to the scene and used multiple rounds of sound explosives (zingers) to try to remove the Black Bear from inside the garbage depot. Incidents like this one are very dangerous with very large Black Bears engaging human properties in search of large amounts of food in advance of their annual Winter hibernation.
Whistler resort has many BC Conservation Officers operating in the area who actively manage the Black Bear and human conflict risks. Many Black Bears are shot each year after or during conflicts with the human populations. Conservation officers also patrol properties to ensure that hazards are removed. The most common problem is garbage being left out in the open which attracts Black Bears that are searching for food sources. There is a long history of Black Bear related problems in the Whistler valley areas all of which are created by the human population.
Residents and visitors in Whistler resort are advised to be very careful with garbage and other items such as outdoor barbecues. Black Bears are attracted to the smell of food sources and commonly operate late at night in all resort areas. Humans also have to be very careful walking around the valley trails and forest areas to make sure not to surprise Black Bears or corner them. Black Bears usually run away when they come close to humans however when surprised or cornered then can become very dangerous.
More information about Black Bears in the community is available on the Get Bear Smart Society website using the link below.