Bear feeding video leads to charges against West Vancouver man
VANCOUVER -- Two years after videos surfaced of a North Shore family feeding a black bear outside their home, a man has been charged under the B.C. Wildlife Act.
West Vancouver resident Vitali Shevchenko is charged with feeding dangerous wildlife and attracting dangerous wildlife, and is scheduled to appear in provincial court on July 29.
While feeding bears and other large predators presents an obvious risk to the people involved, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said it's also dangerous to the animals.
If bears become conditioned to seek food in residential areas, conservation officers might have to make the difficult decision to put the animals down.
"Once a bear has obtained a food source at a residence, it may not just return to that residence, it may look at all residences as a potential opportunity for food," said Chris Doyle, deputy chief of the service.
Shevchenko was investigated after videos of a bear encounter surfaced on social media in July 2018.
One video that was posted on Instagram showed two young girls feeding a bear cub from a patio. Another showed a man passing what appeared to be a plastic-wrapped pack of biscuits or crackers to a bear through a sliding door.
Under the Wildlife Act, feeding bears carries a $345 fine.