File photo courtesy of WildSafeBC/J. Couperus

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Wildlife conservation groups in the Elk Valley are encouraging individuals to be smarter while enjoying the outdoors, following a report of people throwing food at a bear over the weekend.

An individual in Mount Fernie Provincial Park reportedly tried to intervene but was told by the group to mind his own business. He then contacted conservation officers through the RAPP line, who attended the scene but found no trace of the animal. It was believed to be a two-year-old black bear.

WildSafeBC reminded residents in a release that it is an offence to feed wildlife in B.C.

“Bottom line is, it’s unbelievable in this day and age that people are going up to bears, approaching and throwing food at it; it’s just ridiculous,” said WildSafeBC Community Coordinator, Kathy Murray.

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation, they lose the fear of people, no longer behave like wild bears and often end up in conflict with people,” she further explained in a release.

Look back: Notices, warnings issued after bear destroyed in Fernie

Mt. Fernie Provincial Park campground was sold out over the weekend, and two groups of campers were evicted for leaving food out.

Anyone who witnesses something like this in a park is encouraged to contact park staff immediately, and call the Conservation Officer Hotline on 1-877-952-7277.



editor@thefreepress.ca

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