We often receive questions about WHY residents should call the Conservation Officer Service to report bear encounters.
Bears are wild animals, and although they should be tolerated in Whistler, they should not be welcomed to residential areas. Many residents are comfortable and even complacent with a bear in their yard, but that is not normal bear behaviour. They should not want to be near humans at all. Our comfort then easily shifts to fear and concern, if that same bear climbs on our patio our enters our garage.
It’s critical to report bear encounters in residential areas or the Village before problems start. Conversation Officers can create a negative experience by hazing bears, and in some cases can relocate bears—non-lethal options for bear management.
By making these animals feel welcome near homes and business, by accepting their early appearance in these areas, they are at an increased risk of accessing garbage or recycling, and this may lead to their untimely deaths.
Report bear sightings in residential areas by phoning the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) at 1-877-952-7277 or 604-905-BEAR, and report poorly managed wildlife attractants (garbage or recycling to Bylaw Services at 604-935-8280. Find more information about bears in Whistler.