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article imageVideo: Hungry black bear raids Whistler pizza shop

By Kim I. Hartman     Sep 29, 2011 in Environment
A hungry black bear made his way into a pizza shop in Whistler, BC, and helped himself to food from the restaurant's pizza warmer, while surprised diners videotaped the shocking incident.
A late crop of wild berries in the higher elevations of British Columbia may have contributed to the bear's foraging in the populated ski community, or perhaps the bear just had a craving for Fat Tony's Pizza.
The YouTube clip, which was posted Sept. 26, shows the black bear raiding the display while clearly amused bystanders can be overheard laughing and joking.
One voice recorded on the video said "no way' while the bear eats his first slice of pizza. Another voice can be heard saying "it's so good I think I will have another' when the bear reaches for his second slice.
The bear eventually left the pizza shop on his own and has not returned again.
Experts are predicting heavier then normal bear activity this season and blame the worst berry crop in two decades, according to the Whistler Question.
"When there is less berries there is more risk in a bear’s life," said bear researcher Michael Allen. "A bear will start doing things that he wouldn't normally do — he will start moving around more. So, if he gets down close to the highway then he will have more of a chance to get hit by a car and a lot of bears have been hit by cars this year.”
Authorities are reminding people to dispose of garbage properly and not to keep dog food containers outside. Experts say maintaining bird feeders may also attract the hungry bears, and they add people need to be tolerant of the wandering bears and remain cautious when outdoors, even in populated areas.
More about Black bear, Bears, pizza shop, bear eats pizza, Whistler
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