A man was fined $345 by the BC Conservation Officer Service in July 2020 after being seen by a passing motorist tossing a box of breakfast cereal to a bear along Highway 16 near Kitwanga, in northwest B.C. (BCCOS handout)

A man was fined $345 by the BC Conservation Officer Service in July 2020 after being seen by a passing motorist tossing a box of breakfast cereal to a bear along Highway 16 near Kitwanga, in northwest B.C. (BCCOS handout)

Man fined after tossing box of breakfast cereal at bear in northwestern B.C.

A motorist witnessed the incident along Highway 16 and called police

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day for humans, but a man who tried to share some cereal with a bear in northwestern B.C. has learned it’s illegal to feed wildlife all times of the day.

According to the BC Conservation Officer Service, the man was seen by a passing motorist tossing a box of breakfast cereal to a bear along Highway 16 near Kitwanga.

The witness called police and patrolling conservation officers were able to identify the man and visit his home.

ALSO READ: Girl, 10, bitten on leg by bear while walking with family on North Vancouver trail

He was fined $345 and charged under the Wildlife Act with intentionally feeding dangerous wildlife.

Conservation officers are reminding British Columbians and tourists that feeding bears and other wild animals creates a serious risk to public safety, as well as the safety of the bear.

When people feed bears, they can become conditioned to human food and turn aggressive while looking for more, according to conservationists.

This isn’t the first time conservation officers have issued fines to people feeding bears. In 2018, Randy Scott was charged with the same charge after posting photos of himself feeding a bear a Tim Hortons timbit along the Alaska Highway. He was fined $2,000 and ordered to stay away from bears in mid-2019.

ALSO READ: Bears trying to live with people, but it still isn’t enough, says study

Penalties can be as high as $100,000 in fines and one year in prison.

Those who witness illegal wildlife activity or problematic wildlife sightings are asked to report it by calling B.C.’s RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

ALSO READ: Wildlife group wants body cams on B.C. conservation officers after 4,300 bears killed in 8 years


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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