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. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Facebook-Discovery Wildlife Park

Province charges Alberta zoo after ice-cream-eating bear video

Alberta laid two charges under its Wildlife Act against a central Alberta zoo after a bear was taken through a drive-thru for ice cream.

The province has laid two charges under its Wildlife Act against a central Alberta zoo after a bear was taken through a drive-thru for ice cream.

A video, posted on social media in January by Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, showed a one-year-old captive Kodiak bear named Berkley leaning out a truck’s window and being hand-fed ice cream by the owner of the local Dairy Queen.

Bear experts called it irresponsible and disrespectful — although a zoo trainer defended it as educational and done on “purpose for a purpose.”

Officials with the province began investigating the video and the terms of the zoo’s permit.

Wildlife officers allege the zoo failed to notify the province prior to the bear leaving the park.

Related: Giant panda family makes its Calgary Zoo debut

Related: Queen emerges as baboon battle ends at Toronto Zoo after hormone intervention

Discovery Wildlife Park and its owners, Doug Bos and Debbie Rowland, are to appear in Red Deer provincial court on May 28.

“Under the terms and conditions of the zoo’s permit, the charges are directly related to the alleged failure of the park to notify the provincial government prior to the bear leaving the zoo,” said a statement from the province late Monday.

One count is related to the bear being taken through the drive-thru for ice cream, while the other pertains to the bear leaving the facility on other occasions in 2017.

The charges were laid under Section 12(3) of the Wildlife Act, which states a person must not contravene the terms or conditions of a licence or permit.

The zoo’s permit, which is regulated by Alberta Environment and Parks, has been revised to impose new conditions.

Those include requiring the zoo to provide more details when asking to transport a controlled animal or wildlife and to keep those animals in a cage, crate or kennel when in a vehicle.

It also says the zoo cannot put any animals on display outside the facility without prior permission from the province nor can it allow any member of the public to have physical contact with animals such as monkeys, cougars, wolves or bears.

Related: Cougar kitten gets new lease on life at Greater Vancouver Zoo

Related: Revelstoke Petting Zoo owner charged with 24 counts of animal cruelty

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Over 30 unique, diverse courses available at Elder College

The deadline to register for one of Elder College’s courses is fast approaching.

Eagle’s Nest’s 52 tenants still displaced due to November water main break

Cariboo Friendship Society executive director said the tenants are spead out through the community

Proposed cannabis shop rejected because of downtown location

Three councillors defeated the proposal, citing proximity to the Salvation Army and parking issues

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

School District 27 announces new hire for superintendent position

Chris van der Mark comes with experience from the Bulkey Valley

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read