WildSafeBC Elk Valley said people were reported approaching and throwing food at a bear in Mt. Fernie Provincial Park over the weekend, leading to strong public reminders about the illegality of feeding wildlife and the dangers it can cause.
"Later on Saturday evening, I got a report of people approaching a bear, it was on the side of the road as you exit Mt. Fernie Provincial Park, and throwing food at it," said Kathy Murray, WildSafeBC Elk Valley Community Coordinator. "It's unbelievable that people this day and age are doing something so stupid."
"People need to know in B.C. that it is an offence to provide food to wildlife."
Murray told Summit 107 that if anyone witnesses people approaching and feeding wildlife to immediately contact the B.C. Conservation Officer Service Hotline at 1-877-952-7277 to report the offence.
According to Murray, approaching and feed bears contributes to their habituation, making them lose their fear of people, and attributing humans with providing food, increasing the chances of an aggressive wildlife encounter.
In addition to the feeding incident, Murray said some campers were also kicked out of Mt. Fernie Provincial Park for not safely securing attractants.
"I spoke to one of the park attendants and they ended up evicting two groups of campers who had food left out, wildlife attractants that attracted a bear into their campsite, jeopardizing their own safety and the safety of everyone else," noted Murray.
Following both incidents in Mt. Fernie Provincial Park, Murray issued a strong reminder to the public to secure food and wildlife attractants and to never approach or feed animals in the wild.
Audio: Kathy Murray, WildSafeBC Elk Valley