Burglarizing bear shot dead

A black bear caught burglarizing a cabin in Squatters’ Row was shot and killed by conservation officers Thursday afternoon. The bruin was discovered by the cabin’s owner, who asked not to be identified.

A black bear caught burglarizing a cabin in Squatters’ Row was shot and killed by conservation officers Thursday afternoon.

The bruin was discovered by the cabin’s owner, who asked not to be identified.

“I’d just come back from town,” she said. “I have to walk about 100 feet from my vehicle to my cabin, and when I was about halfway there I heard a bunch of noise.”

She suspected it was a bear. There had been one on the property only a few days before.

She returned to the car and honked the horn, then walked back to the cabin and set off an air horn three times, all to no effect.

“I was worried that whatever it was, was trapped,” she said.

At a loss, she telephoned for help, but by the time conservation officers showed up the bear had fled. 

He had broken her window and ransacked a cooler in the kitchen.

A tupperware full of spices had been chucked out the window, along with a package of strawberries and feta cheese.

While the conservation officers looked for tracks and talked to the neighbours, the resident started to clean up.

“I really didn’t think I had to worry,” she said. “I thought after all this commotion, he’s not going to be back.”

She cleaned up the food outside, then started on the kitchen.

“I was bent over cleaning up this floor, and I thought maybe I should fix the window first,” she said. “I stood up and looked out the window and he was right there, he was 10 feet away from the window.”

It wasn’t the same bear she had seen earlier in the week. This one was bigger, she said.

“It couldn’t believe it, it couldn’t have been more than 20 minutes after the COs had been here,” she said. “I really didn’t expect that.”

She blew the air horn but “it didn’t even phase him.

“He looked up for a minute and he went back to looking for the strawberries that weren’t there,” she said.

She called the conservation officers back. They arrived in a hurry, and the bear fled once again.

But he didn’t run far.

The conservation officer told her he circled around but wouldn’t leave. The officer ended up having to put the bear down.

“It was very aggressive,” said Nancy Campbell, a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment. “And unfortunately that’s what happens when they’re close to people.” 

This is the eighth bear that conservation officers have shot in Whitehorse this year. That’s double the number killed by conservation officers in all of last year.

Originally conservation officers thought that the bear that broke into the house in Squatters’ Row was the same bear that has been recently seen wandering around Copper Ridge, said Campbell. But they turned out to be different bears.

The Copper Ridge bear is still at large.

“Traps are set,” said Campbell. “No words yet on if we’ve managed to capture him or not.” 

This time of year is always a busy time for bear activity, she said.

“July is usually the toughest month for bears, because they’re really hungry,” said Campbell. “Their overwinter food supply has run out and they’re waiting for the new berries.”

Because of that, it’s especially important that people keep their garbage and compost locked up and out of bears’ reach, she said.

“When bears become habituated to people as a result of getting food, that’s when he end is nigh for a bear,” she said. “A fed bear is a dead bear.”

The owner of the cabin on Squatters Row is at a loss for what attracted the bear to he cabin. There was no garbage left out and little food in the house, she said.

“I was low on groceries I was actually bringing some home,” she said. “It seemed like he went straight for the window.”

“I feel really bad. I never wanted to see that at my place.”

While a little shaken by the experience, she doesn’t want her story to fuel hysteria about bears.

“I’m not casual about bears at all, but I haven’t seen one like that,” she said.

In the meantime, the resident has already put up a storm window. And she’s considering getting a dog to replace the air horn.

“I don’t think I’ll have another summer here without a dog,” she said. 

Contact Josh Kerr at joshk@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Eric Schroff, executive director with the Yukon Fish and Game Association, poses for a portrait on Feb. 20. Schroff says he is puzzled as to why the Yukon government is cutting back on funding for the association. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News file)
YG cuts Yukon Fish and Game Association funding, tried to vet outgoing communications

Yukon Fish and Game Association says 25 per cent government funding cut will impact operations


Wyatt’s World for Nov. 27, 2020

Premier Sandy Silver during a live update on the COVID-19 situation at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Total Yukon COVID case count increased to 42 cases

Premier urges patience after national meeting on vaccine roll-out

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Most Read