This story perfectly illustrates the sad fact that “a fed bear is a dead bear.” If you feed them, they become habituated to humans and eventually there is an encounter…and almost always bears lose out. Very sad.
[From The Province – Tuesday, November 23, 2010] A man from Christina Lake, B.C., who became notorious after appearing in a video feeding his bear “friends” earlier this year has been charged with feeding dangerous animals under the Wildlife Act.
Allen Wayne Piche, described as the “bear dude” in an online video, was in the news in August after police alleged the bears had been tamed to guard a marijuana grow op on the property.
That allegation has not resulted in charges.
But on Tuesday, the B.C. Ministry of Environment said Piche is facing a charge of feeding dangerous wildlife. He is due in court in Grand Forks on Dec. 14.
“A police investigation of an alleged marijuana grow operation in mid-August 2010 uncovered a number of severely habituated and food-conditioned black bears on a rural property near Christina Lake,” said environment ministry spokesman Colin Grewar in a release.
“The property owner had allegedly been feeding the bears large amounts of dog food, in quantities that were large enough to sustain them. As a result, the bears had become dependent upon humans for food and were docile because of their familiarity with humans as food providers.”
Grewar said there were about 26 bears that had grown dependent on humans for their food.
Conservation officers and Ministry of Environment staff at first worked with the property owners on a plan to keep feeding the bears, while reducing the amount so they could be weaned from the habit and for the safety of area residents.
Most of the bears in the area have since gone into hibernation, said Grewar.
“As a result of the Ministry of Environment’s strategy, none of these bears had to be euthanized,” he said.
Penalties for feeding wildlife can be as high as $100,000 or a year in jail for a first offence, and up to double that for a subsequent offence.
To confidentially report poachers, polluters or other Wildlife Act offenders, go to www.rapp.bc.ca.