Pizza shop bear relocated

Animal will be killed if any future conflict: Doyle

The black bear that made headlines across Canada and internationally last week for wandering into Fat Tony's Pizza in Whistler Village and eating four pies has been relocated.

Inspector Chris Doyle with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said Tuesday (Oct. 4) that the animal was caught near the Village last week and "trans-located," or relocated to an area outside its home range. When the bear was caught and moved, conservation officers weren't sure it was the same animal that ate the pizza. But after reviewing a video of the pizza shop incident it was confirmed that it was the same animal.

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According to various media reports, the bear entered Fat Tony's Pizza on the evening of Sept. 26 and continued eating pizza until the restaurant owners arrived and scared it away by banging pots and pans. Patrons outside the shop snapped photos and filmed the bear, laughing as it continued to eat.

When asked if the employees working at the pizzeria at the time could have handled the situation differently, Doyle said simply that, "the door was open and the bear went in."

"They didn't do anything to invite the bear in," he said.

A bear that engages in such "high conflict" behaviour needs to be removed from the population, as such situations will often escalate, Doyle added. As well, that specific animal was tagged and had been involved in previous conflict.

Doyle said if the bear returns to any community and gets into conflict it will be killed.

There has been little other bear activity of note in Whistler recently, aside from conservation officers hazing bears away from populated areas and dealing with attractant issues, Doyle said.

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