Raven steals personal belongings from skier’s backpack at Cypress Mountain on Dec. 28, 2020. (Screenshot)

Raven steals personal belongings from skier’s backpack at Cypress Mountain on Dec. 28, 2020. (Screenshot)

Friend or Foe: Raven steals personal belongings from skier’s backpack at Cypress Mountain

‘It was almost like an inspection. He went to check a couple bags’

By Charlie Carey

A feathered friend or a thieving foe? A resident raven at Cypress Mountain Resort is causing a stir online after being caught on camera unzipping a skier’s backpack before flying off with its contents recently.

Shared on the ‘Hiking British Columbia’ Facebook group by Turguy Tugayli on Dec. 29, the 16-second video shows the super-intelligent bird calmly going about its business, in a sea of piled-up backpacks next to the top of Lions Express chairlift.

“It was almost like an inspection. He went to check a couple bags,” Tugayli said.

“And I’m like, ‘This bird is up to something here.’ I was actually shocked at how smart he was. He tried pulling the zippers up, and then when I started recording, by then the zipper was already open.”

Receiving some harsh words on Facebook after being unable to intervene quickly enough, Tugayli said he was “just not expecting the bird to actually steal such a big bag and fly out.”

“I guess I could have intervened, but I had like a second, this all happened in like 15 seconds.”

Confirming that it would indeed be a raven and not a crow, Cypress sales and marketing director Joffrey Koeman said that they have heard of a lot of stories of this happening – most notably during the Vancouver Olympics.

“We have a ton of ravens on the mountain and they are all very smart!”

During the ongoing pandemic it appears the rules at Cypress are: Keep calm, wash your hands – and apparently – watch out for ravens.

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