A BC Woman Has Been Fined $60K For Feeding Black Bears On Her Property
She gave them everything from carrots to eggs.
A B.C. woman is facing quite the hefty fine after feeding bulk produce to a number of black bears right from her home.
According to an October 1 Facebook post from the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS), Whistler resident Zuzana Stevikova was charged in a "precedent-setting case" for feeding and attracting bears to her property.
Stevikova was sentenced earlier in the week in the North Vancouver Provincial Court and is now facing a $60,000 fine, the highest overall penalty imposed under the Wildlife Act in B.C.
COURT CASE | A #Whistler resident has received a combined $60,000 penalty for feeding and attracting bears to her property in a precedent-setting case for the #BCCOS as the highest overall penalty imposed under the Wildlife Act in B.C. https://tinyurl.com/bhh3b8d3\u00a0pic.twitter.com/BdCjn4PA6W— BC CO Service (@BC CO Service) 1633131988
Officials said an investigation was launched by the COS in July 2018 after a complaint that a Kadenwood neighbourhood resident had been feeding black bears for some time.
Through the investigation, Stevikova had been found to be intentionally feeding the bears bulk products throughout the summer of 2018.
She had been feeding the animals items including up to 10 cases of apples, 50 pounds of carrots, and up to 15 dozen eggs that were all purchased on a weekly basis.
"These activities created an extraordinary public safety risk by conditioning bears to human food and presence," the COS said in the post.
In September 2018 Conservation Officers were apparently forced to put down three bears that were "repeatedly visiting the area, causing property damage, and exhibiting highly habituated behaviour showing no fear of people."
They said the "non-natural food conditioning" made the bears ineligible for rehabilitation or relocation due to the risk they were causing to the safety of the area.
"The primary concern of the COS is public safety. Illegally feeding or placing attractants to lure dangerous wildlife, such as bears, is an extremely dangerous activity," said COS Sgt. Simon Gravel in the post. "Once bears learn to associate humans with food, it creates a public safety risk."
The COS confirmed that the majority of the penalty Stevikova is facing will go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.