B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service (COS) is investigating a North Shore family who has come under fire for posting a series of pictures and videos showing them feeding a family of black bears.
The videos show the family — parents and kids — feeding things like crackers and French fries to the sow and cub, even hand-feeding them through a window.
The posts date back at least a year. The latest was posted on Tuesday.
The actions in the videos appear to fly in the face of efforts to inform the public that “a fed bear is a dead bear.”
Every year between 200 and 400 black bears are put down after becoming habituated to human food or garbage and becoming a safety hazard.
From 2016: B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service investigating video of man hand feed a bear
“It’s very, very concerning to see that,” said Christine Miller, education coordinator with the North Shore Black Bear Society.
“That bear is going to grow bigger. What will they do then when he shows up for food?
“That bear has learned that there’s food inside houses, inside windows, inside sliding glass doors. It’s possible if he ever approached a house and a sliding door was open, he could even become more aggressive and break into a house.”
Conservation officer Lonnie Schoenthal said an investigation is underway.
Schoenthal said he was “alarmed and saddened” by the video.
“We’re out there constantly trying to give the message of keeping wildlife wild, so that bears do not become habituated, so that they do not become food-conditioned, so that they don’t approach people expecting some sort of handout,” he said.
Schoenthal notes that the bears could be put down if they become a public safety risk.
— With files from Grace Ke
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