A Kodiak bear is fed ice cream in a Dairy Queen drive-thru in a screengrab from a video posted to Facebook by the Discovery Wildlife Park. Photo from THE CANADIAN PRESS

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Discovery Wildlife Park owner Dog Bos said his Dairy Queen drive-through bear video that drew criticism was meant only to spread a conservation and safety message.

“Our whole goal was to promote conservation. That was the whole goal of it all, to get the message out there to don’t feed the bears … to don’t stop on the side of the road,” said Bos on Friday.

“It’s unfortunate that a small amount of people viewed it one way and a large amount of people that viewed it our way I guess.”

When the story was picked up by the media, animal experts voiced their displeasure, calling the video irresponsible.

The province says it plans to investigate, a move that Bos welcomes. He has already been in contact with Fish and Wildlife and hopes they can come to his zoo next week

“There’s going to be an investigation. That’s good because that’s what their job is,” he said.

“I’m glad to see there’s going to be an investigation because that’s what they’re all about, making sure everything is OK and animals are not harmed and the public is not harmed and stuff like that.”

Bos said the one-year-old bear named Berkley was taken to the Dairy Queen before it opened last Sunday to shoot the video. He and three other Discovery Wildlife Park staff — not seen in the video — were there to ensure the shoot went off safely.

The Kodiak bear, who was on a chain, was raised in zoos and well trained.

Discovery Wildlife Park has used its website to spread its conservation message previously. But the number of views has been limited.

The video was seen as a way to get the message out to a wider audience using social media.

“Our whole goal was just to attract people to our message. It wasn’t to get extra attendance. We’re not even open at this time of year.

“It was just to create bear awareness and get it out there. At the end of the day, there are hundreds of thousands of people who got the message: don’t feed the bears.”

Given the controversy, Bos said they will carefully consider the best way to get their message out in the future.

“I guess we’ll re-think our media tactics in the future and make sure we’ve got a message that people will listen to and maybe co-ordinate more with Fish and Wildlife.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Most Read