A moment of joy for them, a lifetime of trouble for the bear

He reached out and offered a snack to the bear. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, forever captured on camera. It’s rather remarkable, to get that close to a bear, to see the depth and sentience in an animal so different from ourselves. Of course, that bear’s chances of survival just plummeted because of this simple act.

In a Facebook post this week, since picked up by national media, a man is seen enticing a bear on the side of a road into approaching him for what appear to be rice cakes. The Conservation Officer Service was horrified by this – and frankly, The Fur-Bearers were, too.

The adage ‘a fed bear is a dead bear’ is not without merit. The simple act of feeding – specifically hand-feeding – this bear will teach him a few things:

  1. The highway/road is a good place to find food
  2. People will give you food if you walk up to them
  3. Groups of people aren’t something to be afraid of

All of these lessons can lead to the bear being killed – by accident, by hunters, or by conservation officers. And all it took was a few moments of selfishness by someone who wanted to get up close to a bear.

We love wildlife. We’re fascinated by them, see the beauty in their lives, and know that we’re distraught when bad things happen to them.

And that’s why we respect wildlife enough to let them be wild.

Photo from Conservation Officer Service Facebook page

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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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