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You've been told not to feed the bears

Conservation officers are warning people they should not be feeding wild animals, like this Kermode bear.  - File photo
Conservation officers are warning people they should not be feeding wild animals, like this Kermode bear.
— image credit: File photo

CONSERVATION OFFICERS have charged one individual with feeding a Kermode bear at the side of the highway near Cedarvale.

The charge, issued as a ticket under the Wildlife Act last month, is also meant as a warning to people that they should not be feeding wild animals, says Terrace conservation officer Gareth Scrivner.

“There’s no reason for people to feed him. He’s in a wild habitat at that location, there’s nothing around and feeding him could lead to a potentially dangerous situation,” said Scrivner. “It’s important we leave him in his environment as best we can.”

The male Kermode has been making regular appearances at the side of Hwy16 for a number of years.

Off-white and fairly rare, Kermode bears often draw a crowd when they appear at the side of highways or in more populated areas.

The problem is that when people stop to take pictures of the Kermode, a crowd can gather and some may then want to feed the animal, said Scrivner.

“What happens is you can have a line of people taking pictures, then some will begin to circle the bear and that means he has no way of escape. And that’s when it can become dangerous,” he said.

Scrivner said the person charged was identified through several means, including monitoring social media.

“This is the first time we’ve done that here,” said Scrivner of using social media to identify people for charging.

The section of the Wildlife Act pertaining to feeding wild animals carries a fine of $350.

People who observe others feeding wild animals can call the provincial reporting line at 1-877-952-7277.

 

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