British Columbia

Whistler resident fined $60,000 after feeding black bears with bulk groceries

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service say the woman, who had been purchasing food in bulk on a weekly basis to feed black bears, has now been fined the highest penalty in the province under the Wildlife Act.

Whistler woman bought several pounds of apples, carrots and eggs weekly, says Conservation Officer Service

A woman from Whistler, B.C. was convicted and sentenced for feeding black bears in her neighbourhood during the summer of 2018. (Robert F. Bukaty/The Associated Press)

A woman from Whistler, B.C., has been fined the highest penalty under B.C.'s Wildlife Act for repeatedly feeding black bears. 

Zuzana Stevikova was sentenced in North Vancouver Provincial Court earlier this week and has been penalized $60,000 in the precedent-setting case.

According to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, Stevikova had been purchasing up to 10 cases of apples, 50 pounds of carrots, and 15 dozen eggs on a weekly basis to feed black bears during the summer of 2018.

Conservation officers were tipped off in July 2018, after receiving a complaint that a resident in Whistler's Kadenwood neighbourhood had been feeding bears.

Officers were forced to put down three bears that had been frequenting the area and had become so habituated to human food and presence that they showed no fear of people.

Conservation officer Sgt. Simon Gravel said once bears learn to link humans with food, they become a public safety risk.

"The primary concern of the COS is public safety. Illegally feeding or placing attractants to lure dangerous wildlife, such as bears, is an extremely dangerous activity," said Gravel. 

The Conservation Officer Service say the majority of the fine has been ordered to go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and that they hope the penalty will deter others from feeding wildlife.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now