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.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

NIDES sending two robotics teams to world championships

Navigate squads will be only Vancouver Island reps at VEX World Championships in Louisville

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

Courtenay-Comox MLA talks water bottling business in Merville

Ronna-Rae Leonard remained neutral when asked if she opposes the proposed business

Pickleball courts to be built at Highland Park

Courtenay Rotary announces project Wednesday

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Lilia Zaharieva wants to share her medical good fortune

UVic student wants treatment for cystic fibrosis made available for all

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

B.C. community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Most Read