Bear Smart Tips
• Black bears are constantly on the move in Whistler. They can be seen on the mountains, in the Village and in residential neighbourhoods. They are fast — as in covering 50 feet in one second. They swim and climb. Their intelligence is likened to that of the great apes — or a three-year-old child.
• Never feed a bear. Not only is the bear put in jeopardy, but you can be prosecuted and fined.
• Dispose of all garbage in bear-proof containers. Look for the bins in the Village, municipal parks and along the Valley Trail.
• Remove all attractants from your vehicle. This means used coffee cups, groceries or even a sealed granola bar. A bear’s sense of smell is seven times greater than that of a bloodhound.
• Selfies and bears don’t mix. Never pose for a photo with a bear.
• Keep a careful eye out for bears while driving.
• What do you do if you see a black bear? Stop and assess the situation. Remain calm.
• If you encounter a bear suddenly at close range, stand your ground and face the bear. Identify yourself as human by talking in a calm voice. Back away slowly.
• If you encounter a bear at a distance, give the animal space and move on with a song, so the bear knows where you are.
• If you encounter a bear in an urban or residential area, use a loud, firm voice as you would with a misbehaving dog. Make direct eye contact and shout, “No, go away bear.”
• If a black bear attacks, making full physical contact, fight back with anything you can. Do NOT play dead.
• Black bears are generally timid creatures who are tolerant of humans and human activity. If, however, a bear appears to be a threat to human safety or is destroying property, call 604-905-BEAR (2327).
To learn more, visit bearsmart.com.
— Source: Get Bear Smart Society.