Video of mother bear and cubs being fed leads to charges against B.C. man

Video of mother bear and cubs being fed leads to charges against B.C. man
VANCOUVER—A B.C. man is facing criminal charges after authorities investigated his family for feeding a bear and her cubs from their home in West Vancouver.

Vitali Shevchenko has been charged with one count of feeding dangerous wildlife and one count of leaving attractants for dangerous wildlife, according to court documents.

A video showing two girls and an adult feeding two bear cubs and a sow from the open windows and doors of a home surfaced in 2018, according to news reports at the time.

Feeding bears poses a “serious risk to public safety, as well as the safety of the bear,” said Chris Doyle, deputy chief for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

Wildlife that become accustomed to receiving food are more likely to see humans as sources of it, which can cause problems.

Conservation officers often kill problem bears when they become too habituated to the presence of humans.

“By feeding a bear or any wild animal, you are food conditioning the animal and putting it in harm’s way,” said Doyle.

“It also puts the individual involved in the activity at risk of being hurt or worse.”

So far this year, officers in the Lower Mainland have received an “average” number of bear calls, he said.
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