Whistler Bears: Lets Keep People Safe & Bears Wild.
“The simplest way to put it is that the bears ate the fall crop in the summer…”
This time of year, bears throughout the province are out and about searching and competing for available food sources while gearing up for the winter months.
As we move into late summer and early fall, human-bear conflicts will be on the rise. In Pique Newsmagazine Sept 8, 2015 article, Michael Allen, who’s been studying the region’s bears for over two decades, said that Whistler’s alpine berry crop – a vital food source for local bears as they fatten up for winter – has virtually disappeared after a hot, dry summer.
“The simplest way to put it is that the bears ate the fall crop in the summer,” Allen explained.
“Because it was hot and dry for so long, everything ripened three to five weeks earlier, so bears started in on the berry crop in the first week of July and it peaked in about the first week of August. Normally the berries peak about the first week of September.”
Knowing how to avoid bears and what to do when you see one will help keep you and the bears safe. Here are some key things you can do to help keep bears and people safe.
- Manage your garbage and recyling so that bears cannot access it. Put all garbage and recycling in wildlife-proof containers or enclosures. Do NOT leave garbage in your vehicle.
- Manage other attractants such as barbeques, bird feeders and fruit/berry bushes. Keep them clean or out of reach, so as not to tempt bears to hang around human-inhabited areas.
- Hike, bike and camp in a Bear Smart manner. Make lots of noise to avoid surprising bears, travel in groups, and always secure your food and other attractants well out of reach. Learn more.
- Keep your picnic or camp site attractant-free.
- Avoid bears. Never approach a bear.
- If you see a bear, keep your distance, back away slowly and leave the area. Report the sighting to theBritish Columbia Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 or 604-905-BEAR.
- Know what to do in case of an encounter by learning more about bears and their behaviour. Learn more.
- Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Learn more.
- Keep your dog on a leash. Dogs can provoke defensive and dangerous behaviour in bears.
- Stay clear of dead wildlife. Carcasses attract bears; leave the area immediately if you come across a dead animal.
- Slow down if you are driving and see a bear on the roadside. It’s tempting to stop and watch but moving on is safer for bears and other traffic.
- Never feed a bear, either intentionally or unintentionally, by being careless with your garbage or food scraps.
Visit the Bear Smart Whistler website.
Go on a Whistler Bear Watching Tour.
Bear-watching tours provide the opportunity to watch the bears in their natural environment, while getting to know their personalities and even their names.
Whistler Activity Companies that offer Bear Watching Tours:
Whistler Discover Tours – Daily Bear Viewing Tours website
Whistler Blackcomb – Trip Advisor Reviews
Whistler Bear Videos:
Video of a large black bear in Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada.
These two black bears explore people’s backyards for food – be it garbage, berries or grass. While they’re at it, they take time to have some fun!
Getting into a sketchy mountain bike / bear encounter at whistler.
This hungry bear was walking in the village and smelled some good food behind a door. so what do you do? you ring the door bell!
Learn More about Bear Behaviour, check out the Alberta Bear Smart video: Think like a Bear!
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