The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) is investigating after a series of social media posts show a family feeding bears from their home in Metro Vancouver.
The family —who reportedly live in the North Shore — can be seen coaxing the mother bear and her bear cubs with food in a series of now-deleted Instagram posts. The footage also shows two young girls holding out food for the bears.
The COS was first alerted about the videos via the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) tip line.
In a statement sent to Daily Hive from the Ministry of Environment, conservation officer Lonnie Schoenthal confirmed an investigation has been launched.
“The biggest concern here for the COS is that feeding dangerous wildlife you are putting the animal at harm by habituating it and food conditioning it,” said Schoenthal.
“When you food condition an animal it begins to no longer eat its natural food sources and believes it can approach people and receive a food reward.”
Feeding wildlife is an offence under the Wildlife Act and those who break the law are subject to a $345 fine.
Schoenthal went on to say that feeding wildlife is not only unsafe to the public, but it also puts the “animal in a position where it has to be destroyed because it becomes a public safety threat.”