Bear Viewing: A Family Affair
Jason Coleman and his family’s time in the field is evident in how intimately they talk about the bears. Sherry says she expects a big production of cubs this year because of last year’s strong mating season and berry crop, while Jason swipes through photos on his phone, talking about how he’s watched two sister bears grow up, letting their cubs mingle, which is highly unusual. There is no question: This family knows bears. But more importantly, they know this group of bears — the bears of Whistler Olympic Park, a population of bears who, by and large, are not exposed to a human population in the way bears are in other areas of Whistler.
“Whistler Olympic Park’s infrastructure was designed to maintain a pristine wilderness environment,” Jason says, “so you are viewing bears as if no one was watching them. People are shocked by how little they care about us. And I don’t mean tolerate us. They just don’t count our presence.”
And that’s how Whistler Photo Safaris aims to keep it. “Bears come first, beyond the viewing experience,” Jason says. “That’s very important to all of us.”