A fed bear is a dead bear: it’s time to step up the messaging

bear tracy riddel
Imagine that you drive up to Tim Horton’s every morning for your double-double. You do this for month and months, learning to love the routine. And then one day, when you drive up, you get shot in the face.

That’s more or less what happens when bears are fed by tourists or good-hearted individuals. And, unfortunately, it may end up being the case for a bear near Kamloops, BC.

For years, we – as well as the government and even hunters and trappers – have been telling people not to feed wildlife. It simply doesn’t end well. But perhaps the message needs to take on a harder edge.

Consider the case of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). It was only when they took their marketing into a darker, more realistic realm that the message became more persuasive to the masses. The video below is one that sticks with you, even if you’ve never had a sip of beer.

Our example at the top of this blog is a harsh, disturbing tale. But it is unfortunately the truth. Every year, bears – as well as coyotes, foxes, raccoons and other wild animals – are killed in traps or other high-powered weapons because someone chose to feed them. It increases the proximity tolerance to people and our properties. It creates a potential for conflict. And we all know who loses when conflict occurs in most municipalities.

Please help us and the other wildlife-based non-profits of Canada spread the message so we can end this cycle of death and pain. We need to show our love and respect of animals by letting them be wild. Because a fed bear really is a dead bear.

Photo provided by Tracy Riddell Photography

Work like our growing Living With Wildlife campaign is only possible with the support of monthly donors. Please consider become a monthly donor – for as little as $5 a month – and help us create a Canada that is truly fur-free.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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