Men who filmed themselves feeding bears fined $345 each
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Thursday, August 11, 2016 10:59AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 11, 2016 6:31PM PDT
The two men filmed hand-feeding black bears near Tofino in April have been charged with intentionally feeding dangerous wildlife.
BC Conservation Officer Daniel Eichstadter confirmed charges under the BC Wildlife Act were laid against the two men on Wednesday, amounting to a minimum fine of $345 each.
The charges stem from a video taken on the side of Highway 4 showing a man feeding a small black bear what appeared to be a rice cake.
The video sparked an angry response from many who said the fed bears were as good as dead.
Tips streamed into the conservation office, eventually leading officers to the two men, who have not been publicly identified.
Eichstadter said he believes he knows which bears were fed, and that officers monitoring the area where it happened have noticed some bears coming to the edge of Highway 4 looking for food.
A couple of bears have even been struck and killed by vehicles in the same area where the video was shot, he said.
Anyone who spots illegal feeding of wildlife is encouraged to call the province's RAPP line at 1-877-925-7277.